Anadolu Agency
May 23, 2022

Policies of ‘Muslim middle powers’ can no longer be dictated by West: Pakistani senator

The policies of “Muslim middle powers” can no longer be dictated by Western nations, while these nations should focus on connectivity, boosting their economies, and coming together for “mutual interests,” a Pakistani senator said.

Calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “lion of Asia” who has a “vision and will,” Mushahid Hussain Sayed told Anadolu Agency: “We have what I call ‘Muslim middle powers’ emerging like Pakistan, Turkiye, Iran, and Saudi Arabia….”

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Citing the “role” of Turkiye and Pakistan in Azerbaijan’s second Nagorno-Karabakh war which started on Sept. 27, 2020 and lasted 44 days to recapture its territory from Armenia, Sayed called for greater cooperation on regional connectivity, the economy, defense, and issues of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Palestine, and Kashmir.

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Sayed, who also chairs the Pakistani Senate’s Defense Committee, said Turkiye and Pakistan enjoyed “a rather unique relationship.”

“It predates the existence of even Pakistan,” he noted.

Recalling the help extended by South Asian Muslims during Turkiye’s war of liberation, he said “this relationship, irrespective of any government in Turkiye or in Pakistan, is always a strong bond.”

“It’s now strengthened through mutual interests. The mutual interests are linked with our worldview,” he said.

Sayed said the two countries “have similar positions on the issue of Palestine, Kashmir, and the TRNC.”

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“When Azerbaijan was fighting the Armenian aggression and occupation of the homeland, Pakistan and Turkiye were two countries which rose to the occasion,” he said, adding “because of this move,” the flags of Turkiye and Pakistan were raised in Azerbaijan when they celebrated the Nagorno-Karabakh victory.

Sayed said Pakistan was the first country to send a delegation of parliamentarians to “express solidarity” with Turkiye after the failed coup by the Fetullah…organization in July 2016.

“I, myself, in my speech at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in Cambodia, said that President Erdogan is ‘the lion of Asia’,” he recalled….

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‘Element of racism in Ukraine war’

Commenting on Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Pakistani senator said Pakistan and Turkiye “have broadly similar positions on the issue of the Ukraine war.”

“Of course, nobody can endorse any invasion of any foreign country. But there’s a context to that. And Pakistan, therefore, abstained on that issue because basically, we see it as a European war,” said Sayed.

“We are also concerned! I, as a Pakistani, and as a person who has links with the media, believe that there are, unfortunately, a lot of double standards in the Western media’s coverage of the Ukraine war, because there is an element of racism – as if the lives of Europeans in Ukraine are perhaps more precious than the lives of non-Europeans, be they Kashmiris or Palestinians or Afghans or Syrians or Iraqis,” he said. “That needs to be put on the record.” [He is not speaking of race but of religion.]

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Complimenting Turkiye for its role in attempting to diffuse the situation, Sayed said “Turkish drones are playing a very important role.”

“The Bayraktar drone has been very effective. It has been used on almost 80 occasions in the Ukraine war, and this drone was also effective in the Azerbaijan war,” he said.

“It is a tribute to Turkish technology that it is so sophisticated. And we as Pakistanis, who are brothers and friends of Turkiye, take pride in the achievements of this country.”

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He quoted a remark by Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, during an interview with an American magazine in October 1947, in which Jinnah said: “Pakistan will be the pivot of the world placed on the frontier around which the future geopolitics of the world will revolve.”