Pakistan,officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s fifth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212.2 million. It has the world’s second-largest Muslim population. It is the 33rd-largest country by area, spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.
The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent. The ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon’s empire, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Kushan Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Ghaznavids Empire, the Ghurid Sultanate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Sur Empire,the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire (partially) and, most recently, the British Indian Empire.
A middle power Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state. It is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, and is backed by one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing middle class populations. Pakistan’s political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC, the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, and is a major non-NATO ally.
Pakistan has an embassy in Ankara, a Consulate-General in Istanbul and an honorary consulate in Izmir whereas, Turkey has an embassy in Islamabad, a Consulate-General in Karachi and honorary consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot and Faisalabad. As of 2016, in a joint communique, Pakistan and Turkey plan to strengthen their close ties into a “strategic partnership”.
Relations date back generations before the establishment of the two states, more precisely during the Turkish War of Independence when the Muslims of the northwestern British Raj sent financial aid to the declining Ottoman Empire, which was followed by the formation of the Turkish Republic and the Independence of Pakistan. Additionally, the countries share historical Islamic ties, as the Muslims living under the British Raj deemed the Ottoman Sultan as their Caliph, and the Caliph of Islam and all Muslims. Abdulhamid II, who reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1876 to 1909,used his Caliphal titles to incite the Muslims living in colonies to rebel against the European powers. As a result, Pakistan and Pakistanis have enjoyed a positive perception in Turkey and amongst Turks for many decades. Pakistan and Turkey enjoy close cultural, historical and military relations which are now expanding into deepening economic relations as both countries seek to develop their economies. Turkey supports Pakistan’s position of holding a plebiscite under the UN to decide if Kashmir wants to join Pakistan, a position which Turkish President Erdogan reaffirmed in a joint address to the Pakistani parliament and which was attended by Pakistan’s military high command. Turkey supports Pakistan’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.Talat Masood said that Turkey and Pakistan enjoy close relations during both democratic and military regimes, reflecting the depth of the relations between the two nations. Both the countries enjoy friendly relations with both usually being termed as Kardeşler (“brothers” in Turkish).