By Zaman Bajwa,
Diplomatic relations between Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey are based on mutual respect and unique commonalities of historical, religious and political nature. Right from the beginning, the governments and political leaderships of these countries have been keen to further develop and consolidate the bond of friendship and brotherhood.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan partnership and bilateral relations are growing rapidly. Recently there was an exchange of High level delegation between two countries. Senate Chairman Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani participated in the celebrations of establishment of a democratic parliamentary republic in Azerbaijan. He greeted President Aliyev on the 100th anniversary of the parliament of Azerbaijan. In last week of October this year Azerbaijan’s Chief of State Border Service Colonel General Elchin Guliyev arrived in Pakistan on an official visit. During his visit he met Civilian and Military leadership. These mutual top level visits started the new era of relationship and coordination between two countries.
Recent developments are indigestible for some people here in Pakistan due their personal reasons and started a campaign to sabotage these emerging relations. I personally witnessed a misleading article in major newspaper of capital which is published to start a new debate regarding diplomatic relations with Armenia. The writer of this article seemed to be ill informed, biased and slanted toward Armenia. Writer categorically tried to tarnish the bilateral relations of Pakistan and Azerbaijan.
The writer of the article tried to build a point that Pakistan is not recognizing Armenia as a sovereign state because of Turkey which is totally wrong. He doesn’t know how Azerbaijani people respect and love Pakistan. How they are ready to fight for Pakistan. He doesn’t know Armenian lobby mostly supported by western countries try to spoil relations between brotherly Muslim countries. Everything is thought to destroy unity and weak such strong Muslim countries as Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and etc. He doesn’t know Azerbaijan is one of the four member countries of OIC contact group on Kashmir and another one is Turkey among 57 Muslim states. Azerbaijan and Turkey are the open supporters of Pakistan on Kashmir and every year restate their position in highest level. This ongoing strong cooperation can be seen in all fields, especially on the development of our military ties and on the eve of meetings of foreign ministers of third countries.
Armenia occupied more than 20 percent of Azerbaijan whereas Nagorno-Karabakh remained an ancient and historical part of Azerbaijan. Now the continued occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian armed forces is a threat to peace and stability in the South Caucasus as well as a source of destabilization for the region in the future.
To the right of Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh territories, are recognized by the United Nations Security Council which adopted four resolutions: 822, 853, 874 and 884 condemning the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories in 1993. It reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, reconfirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate, full and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories. Azerbaijan never used violence against Armenia. The Khojaly genocide was an ethnic cleansing by Armenian forces against helpless Azerbaijanis.
Pakistan still does not recognize Armenia as an independent state because of its occupation of Azerbaijani territories. The Pakistani Parliament and Senate and the standing committee on foreign affairs has demonstrated solidarity with the government and people of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It condemned the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and the genocide committed by Armenian armed forces in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly on February 26, 1992 against the civilian population. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and some other countries as well did not establish diplomatic relations with aggressor Armenia because of illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Pakistan reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. It demanded implementation of resolutions of the UN Security council and the UN General Assembly on immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and calls upon the international community and international organizations to urge Armenia for the implementation of these decisions. It supported the efforts of the Republic of Azerbaijan to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful means. But I’m sorry to say that Pakistani writer has tried to spoil the trustworthy bilateral relations of Pakistan with strategic partners like Azerbaijan and Turkey with his misconceived article.
Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey’s relations are based on a concept of “shared prosperity” and rigorous commercial diplomacy and are consolidated on greater socio-economic connectivity, better political understanding and geo-strategic cooperation along with increasing military cooperation. The government of Pakistan considers Azerbaijan and Turkey reliable security partners in the rapidly changing geo-political and geo-strategic world. The beginning of trilateral cooperation between Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey is a giant step towards greater regional peace, harmony and security. It will provide a “strategic cushion” for all the participating countries.
Armenian lobbies use all their machines and efforts to spoil our cooperation and brotherly relations with Azerbaijan. What will bring recognition of Armenia to Pakistan?-Nothing but bad reputation and bad relations. Pakistan will lose a brotherly country as Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as respect and love of 80 millions Turks and 50 million people of Azerbaijan in the world who stand by Pakistan in every thick and thin.
The writer is a human Rights Activist and Journalist.