Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday, on behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, reaffirmed solidarity with Turkey as the country marked the fifth anniversary of a failed military coup in 2016.
In a message to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the premier said history will remember how in 2016 the Turkish people displayed their characteristic resilience and gallantry to defy those who wanted to target Turkey's peace and stability as well as its democratic institutions.
"It was also the day when the entire Pakistani nation spoke with one voice against the attempt to undermine Turkey’s democracy and progress towards prosperity. Today, the people of Pakistan join the people of Turkey in honouring the martyrs and supporting their families," the prime minister said.
He said the "historic, fraternal and multi-dimensional" relations between Pakistan and Turkey were without parallel and had stood the test of time.
"The people and the government of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the government and the people of Turkey in their quest for national security, peace and prosperity, and will continue to stand by them towards the achievement of these shared goals," he said.
"Our prayers and best wishes are with you and the people of Turkey in your march towards peace and prosperity, and ever greater glory," the premier added.
On the night of July 15, 2016, an army faction disgruntled with Erdogan’s one-and-a-half decades of domination had sought to seize power, closing the bridges in Istanbul, bombing parliament in Ankara and deploying tanks in the streets.
But the coup bid unravelled as Erdogan returned in triumph to Istanbul from holiday and tens of thousands of ordinary Turks poured into the streets to oppose the plotters. Two hundred and forty nine people died in the coup and are regarded as “sehitler” [martyrs for Islam].