LAHORE – Banners with pictures of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the newly appointed president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) sprung up throughout the length of the Mall Road, during early hours of Thursday.
The banners read ‘Friendship ended with China, now Turkey is my all-weather friend’, and were put up overnight on all major boulevards in the cities despite the presence of several security checkpoints and patrol.
The posters were taken down early Thursday morning.
While both the Punjab and federal governments have distanced themselves from the campaign, none of the government officials was willing to address the matter, despite repeated attempts to contact them.
Even though the banners bear the PML-N logo, a prime suspect for putting up the posters is the world renowned Move On Pakistan party, known for urging Pakistan to make decisions that the state hasn’t been bold enough to embrace.
Meanwhile, sources within the Turkish government machinery refuse to say that preacher and politician Fethullah Gulen might be behind the posters.
“Turkish Pakistani friendship is higher than Himalaya, and sweeter than the baklava,” a senior Turkish official said while talking to The Dependent.