By Anar TURAN
Today, Azerbaijan has become one of the most important strategic countries in the Near and Middle East. After declaring its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan has passed a great development way over the years. This development way includes strengthening economic-political and especially military resources, and becoming one of the leading players in the region. Today, Azerbaijan participates in the implementation of projects of regional and global significance, and is on the list of important countries with transit and geoeconomic platform opportunities. At the same time, Armenia’s aggressive policy was considered one of the serious obstacles to this development.
Thus, for many years, Azerbaijan suffered from the military expansion of Armenia. For many years, the Karabakh conflict between the two countries turned millions of Azerbaijanis into refugees and internally displaced persons, resulting in the loss of 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s territory. Armenia’s aggressive policy seriously hampered the existence of peace and tranquility in the South Caucasus. The 44-day war in 2020 resulted in a brilliant transfer of political and military dominance in the region to Azerbaijan. In a short period of time, the Azerbaijani Army was able to liberate its lands by conducting important military operations in the world military history. In this war, Azerbaijan was also distinguished by the fact being in the right side and implementing the UN resolutions against Armenia.
During the war, Armenia’s rocket attacks on civilian cities, its involvement in war crimes to prevent Azerbaijan’s military success, and its acts of state terror against the civilian population did not yield any results. On the contrary, Azerbaijan responded to these inhumane attacks of Armenia on the battlefield in Karabakh. Having an opportunity to strike all the cities and villages of Armenia, Azerbaijan did not commit this crime and won a brilliant victory in the war. The end of the long-running Armenian aggression has created new geostrategic realities in the entire region. Undoubtedly, the support by the Armenian lobby provided to Armenia for many years has not been able to change these new realities. Off course, Pakistan is one of the countries that has been with Azerbaijan for many years in its difficult and successful days, especially in its just struggle.
Today, the Azerbaijan-Turkey-Pakistan unity tandem is an indicator of irresistible unity and brotherhood in the region. It is no coincidence that with the Baku Declaration signed on July 27 last year, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan agreed to expand cooperation against foreign-backed terrorist attacks, cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns, as well as in several other areas. The Baku Declaration is a serious document to further intensify the steps taken by all three countries based on unity.
In general, Pakistan is the second country after Turkey to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence. Pakistan is one of the largest as well as the most powerful countries in the Islamic world. Today, Pakistan is one of the Moslem countries having military power that every Azerbaijani Muslim is proud of. The love of Azerbaijanis, and all Muslims in general for Pakistan takes its roots from this state’s close ties to Islamic countries and its political and moral support. Pakistan-Azerbaijan friendship and brotherly relations are also based on these criteria. Apart from the fact that the absolute majority of both peoples are Muslims, sincerity is at the forefront of interstate relations.
Today, economic relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are not so high (although it is necessary to develop them), there are close political and moral ties. Pakistan’s close support to Azerbaijan for many years and its lack of relations with Armenia have caused the love of our people. Our people will never forget Pakistan’s decision to join Azerbaijan in the Patriotic War of 2020, its repeated statements against Armenia, and its full political and moral support to our country. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev spoke about Pakistan’s support: “Pakistan has shown solidarity and support for Azerbaijan since the first day of the war. It was an example of true brotherhood and friendship. In Azerbaijan, people demonstrated their feelings for the Pakistani people, waving Pakistani flags during the war. It once again demonstrates our unity and brotherhood.”
Yes, there are commonalities in the history of Pakistan and Azerbaijan. Once, both countries were part of the Safavid and Afshar states at the same time. The ancestors of both nations were the inhabitants of these states, which are the glorious pages of our mutual history. One of the main principles of the Pakistani state and people is the existence of common points in our history, religious unity, support for a troubled Muslim, and the notion of being on the right side as a whole. The people of Azerbaijan have always felt this warm attitude. In this regard, Pakistan-Azerbaijan friendship and brotherhood are unshakable and will continue to be a role model in the Muslim world.
The writer Anar TURAN – the researcher and author – is the Chairman of “The National Thought and Development” Center.