Turkish president calls for unity in Pakistan / PHOTO

Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday called for Pakistan's warring political forces to show unity amid an ongoing state of emergency imposed by President Pervez Musharraf.

Turkish president calls for unity in Pakistan / PHOTO

Gul held lengthy talks with Musharraf in Islamabad, a day after becoming the first foreign leader to visit Pakistan since the declaration of emergency rule on November 3.

"Pakistan is passing through a critical time... therefore, from this kind of critical period, all the leading teams should focus on the future of Pakistan," Gul said at a joint news conference with Musharraf.

"They should look at the big picture and behave constructively. It is good for Pakistan."

Musharraf has pledged to lift the emergency by December 16, ahead of general elections on January 8. Last week, he stepped down as chief of the army and was sworn in for a second term as a civilian president.

He said he had "explained to the (Turkish) president the political turmoil we had gone through and the democratic transition course we have adopted."

Gul is also due to meet opposition leaders, including former premiers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, during his visit, which Musharraf said he thought was a good move.

"I know it is going to be positive and in the interest of Pakistan. When the President meets these political leaders, they have to keep Pakistan's interest foremost," Musharraf told reporters.

"My slogan is Pakistan comes first. My brother (Gul) is going to speak for Pakistan because his interest is in Pakistan and not in any individual or political parties."

Musharraf and Gul said they had also discussed terrorism, international relations and bilateral ties, including the possibility of stepping up defence production cooperation.

Pakistan has had close ties with Turkey since the South Asian nation's formation 60 years ago, with the countries often running cultural exchange programmes.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2007, 09:52