Ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s arrival to the Pakistani capital Islamabad for his two-day official visit, “#Marhaba Erdogan” has become a top Twitter trend on Thursday in the country.
Also #WelcomeErdoganToPakistan remained a top trend on the microblogging and social networking platforms in the country.
Tens of thousands of social media users on Twitter and Facebook posted messages with “#Marhaba Erdogan” and” #WelcomeErdoganToPakistan” hashtags.
Several politicians and officials also posted on social media, welcoming Erdogan to Islamabad.
Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former envoy to the UN, in her welcoming message on Twitter said: “As Pakistan prepares to welcome President Erdogan of Turkey to Islamabad, this #Throwback is to Sept 2019 when we organised a high level dialogue on Hate Speech, with Turkey as co host, on the sidelines of [the] UNGA where both leaders spoke out on Islamophobia.”
Inayatullah Khan, the former senior minister and member of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, also posted a photo of Erdogan on Facebook and said this visit would further augment the brotherly relations between the two Muslim countries.
“I extend warm welcome to Tayyip Erdogan on his visit to Pakistan. Under his leadership, Turkey has witnessed unprecedented transformation to a viable democratic, developed industrialized state with remarkable turn around in GDP growth, technological advancement, Education and health. Moreover has demonstrated true leadership for Muslim Ummah,” Khan said in his message.
Erdogan’s plane is scheduled to land at Noor Khan Airbase on Thursday around 4.30 p.m. local time (1130GMT) in Rawalpindi, an adjacent city Islamabad, where Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to welcome, and present him a guard of honor.
The local authorities in Islamabad have decorated the main roads with Turkish and Pakistani flags as well as portraits of Erdogan, his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi and also Khan, inscribed slogans such as “Long Live Pakistan -Turkey Brotherhood” on the posters and billboards.
According to officials, during Erdogan’s visit, both countries are expected to sign several agreements to boost bilateral trade and cooperation in different sectors.
Pakistani artists are also busy paying tributes to Erdogan. Some have painted life-size portraits of Erdogan.
Rabia Zakir, who calls herself “ambassador for arts”, said on Twitter, after posting self-made portrait of Erdogan: “My latest painting is a personal tribute to the strong & never ending bond between🇵🇰🇹🇷 [Pakistan and Turkey].”
Erdogan’s recent stance on Kashmir and support for Kashmiri people after Aug. 5, 2019 — when New Delhi abolished the special status of the region — have generated further goodwill and praise for him in Pakistan.
A Twitter user Waqar Ali referred to Turkey’s support to Pakistan on Kashmir said: “How can we forget the love and friendship of @RTErdogan when he stood with Pakistan about the issue of Kashmir. That time our closest Muslim allies Saudi Arabia & UAE preferred neutrality. Love you turkey Love you Erdogan.”
Isha Butt, a young Pakistani, said: “It is hoped that the #Erdogan visit to Pakistan will further strengthen the friendly relations of the two countries 🇵🇰🇹🇷 Welcome Home.”
“There is no denying that the relationship between Turkey and Pakistan is like between two blood brothers. It is pure and free from greed and interest,” said Sami Ullah, another Pakistani who posted a photo of Erdogan and Khan on Twitter.
Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Mustafa Yurdakul thanked to Pakistani social media users for making Erdogan’s visit a top trend.
“Thank you for making these top topics trending in [Pakistan] today #WelcomeErdoganToPakistan,” Yurdakul said on Twitter.