Pakistani citizens have criticised U.S’s recent decision to double tariffs on Turkish aluminium and steel imports. Netizens have launched a campaign on social media encouraging purchase of Turkish products and lira.
“If you want to help Turkey, please buy their products and lira and visit Turkey instead of other countries for vacations,” said Arshad Zaman, a Twitter user from Pakistan.
Ali Osman wrote on Twitter: “In early 1920s, Muslims of the sub-continent stood by Turkish brothers when they were in trouble, and now after 100 years we will again stand by our Turkish brothers and sisters.”
Since January, after Trump suspended military aid to the country and accused Islamabad of providing sanctuaries to Taliban factions fighting American troops in neighboring Pakistan, anti-U.S sentiments have risen.
“We have given a clear message to the U.S. that Pakistan would not follow its policy on the region but wants an equal say in all matters pertaining to peace,” said Fawad Choudhary, the spokesman for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which will form the next government in the country.
Ibrahim Qazi, a Lahore-based political analyst, gave a suggestion that the PTI-led government should immediately sign the Free Trade Agreement with Turkey and should express solidarity with the country.
“Pakistan should also set a stage for Turkey to benefit from Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” Qazi added.
The ongoing crisis between U.S and Turkey relations risks consequences in military ties between the two, after U.S President Donald Trump last week ordered new tariffs on Turkey due to continued detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson.
The tariffs have been slapped on steel and aluminum, which has caused the country’s currency, lira, to take a hit. On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote in The New York Times that unless Washington can “reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect,” Turkey will “start looking for new friends and allies.” It contacted Russia soon after to to discuss economic and trade issues, as well as the Syria crisis.