Pakistan and Turkey would work together to further intensify mutual collaboration in the field of disaster management. This was agreed during the meeting between Lt. General Omar Mahmood Hayat, Chairman of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu, President of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), in Ankara today. Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi also attended the meeting.
Both sides agreed to work on a number of initiatives, including sharing of experiences and knowledge in disaster management, training of experts, joint exercises, hosting of joint conference, and high-level exchanges to intensify cooperation, bilaterally and in the wider regional context.
Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu gave a comprehensive briefing about AFAD, its objectives, initiatives, projects, and plans for meeting various kinds of emergencies at home and abroad. Referring to his early visits to Pakistan, he said I felt at home while in Pakistan and showed his keen desire to develop institutional linkages with NDMA.
Chairman NDMA conveyed deep appreciation for Turkey’s assistance for relief and rehabilitation operations during the 2005 earthquake and the devastating 2010 floods in Pakistan. He underlined that given its extreme vulnerability to large-scale recurring natural disasters, the Government of Pakistan had strengthened its indigenous response mechanisms to natural disasters and was progressively moving towards a proactive approach of Disaster Risk Management, capitalizing on its own rich experiences as well as adopting best global practices.
Lt. Gen. Hayat visited the AFAD Training Centre in Ankara and appreciated the high quality training being provided to the participants.