On his arrival, Imran Khan was received by Konya Governor Cüneyit Orhan Toprak, Deputy Mayor Mithat and Pakistan ambassador Syrus Sajjad Qazi at the airport.
Imran Khan and his delegation visited the mausoleum of great Sufi saint Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. The premier laid floral wreath on Rumi’s grave and offered fateha.
In his brief meeting with the Konya governor, Imran Khan said the people of Pakistan have a feeling of great affection for the people of Konya and hold Maulana Rumi in great reverence. “The spiritual message of Maulana Rumi has served to unite humanity from all religions and all walks of life,” the premier was quoted as saying.
Later, the premier travelled to Ankara where he met Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekjan and exchanged views on mutual issues.
During his visit, the premier is said to discuss the “entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as [the] regional and international situation” with President Erdogan. During his stay in Ankara, Khan will address a business forum and hold meetings with Turkish businessmen and potential investors.
“The visit will help explore new avenues of cooperation and collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the areas of economic, trade and commercial relations,” added Radio Pakistan.
This is Prime Minister Khan’s first visit to the country after assuming office.
A high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar and Adviser to the Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood, is accompanying the premier on the trip.
The prime minister has visited several countries — including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, China and Malaysia — after his election to the top office in an effort to strengthen bilateral and economic relations and secure foreign investment for the country.
Pakistan and Turkey have enjoyed close ties over the years. In February, during the vote on US’s motion to ‘grey list’ Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting, the only country left opposing the motion was Turkey. In August, even before he had taken the oath of the prime ministerial office, Imran Khan had extended his support to Ankara, which at the time was embroiled in an intense trade dispute with the United States.
In October, President Arif Alvi and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan had agreed to further strengthen mutual cooperation between the two “brotherly countries” during the former’s visit to Turkey.