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Jan 11 2019

Turkey and Pakistan both turn away from U.S. - analysis

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Turkey, who were once firm U.S. allies but in recent years have sought their own interests, is an indication of rapprochement, U.S.-based weekly magazine The Nation said on Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s leadership might be a model for Pakistan, according to The Nation. That is because Pakistan wants to resist Indian hegemony in the region, and would rather be independent than turning to either the United States or China as partners, two countries without much popular support, the magazine noted.

“While Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism, if taken to its logical conclusion, would make the re-establishment of a Turkish caliphate the next logical step, Pakistan might be more inclined to take that path,” The Nation said.

In addition to Pakistan’s aspirations to establish greater independence, both Turkey and Pakistan seek regional partners. The journal also extensively highlights the shared Islamic history of both Turkey and Pakistan.

“Both still wish to be part of regional groupings from which they are rejected: Turkey wants to join the EU (European Union), but is excluded by members fearing a non-Christian member; Pakistan wants (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) to develop, but India will not allow this so long as it does not completely dominate.”