By Nejat İsmayilov
Pakistan is the most cooperating country for Azerbaijan, apart from this, brotherly relations exists between two states. In particular, the day-to-day military cooperation between the two countries draws more attention. This article particularly focused on the pace of further expanding military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, especially after the April 2016 war.
Pakistan is the second country to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence after Turkey. Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan was recognized by Pakistan on December 12, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 9, 1992. These facts have laid the foundation of the relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan from early stage to ideal position.
In the early years of independence, the progress of military relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan was weak because of the embargo, social and economic problems which Azerbaijan faced that time. However, after Azerbaijan gains domestic political stability and economic development, friendly and allied relations with Pakistan reached to military co-operation.
In particular, “April Four Day War” between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2016 once again showed that Azerbaijan and Pakistan are not just allies, but also fraternal countries. The first reaction to the April wars was given by the Defence Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 3 April. The Pakistani Defence Ministry “Pakistan Defence” page shared “Pakistani people support Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh region belongs Azerbaijan”
Chairman of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, who attended the first meeting of parliamentary speakers in the Russian capital, said that, “If there is no other way of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, we are ready to support friendly country anyway. The Pakistani army’s troops are not involved in military operations in other countries. But with the consent of the government, the Pakistani military does not spare support for the friendly countries.”
It is also known that Pakistan has prepared its 80,000 troops ready to support Azerbaijan. This fact was highly appreciated by the Azerbaijani leadership and led to the further development of cooperation with Pakistan. All Azerbaijani citizens, headed by the President of Azerbaijan, clearly felt the support of Pakistan. As a result, military cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan began to experience its “golden age.”
Member of the Azerbaijani National Assembly, Tahir Rzayev commented on India’s arms sales to Armenia, saying that “if Armenia has India, Azerbaijan has Pakistan.” This statement helps to analyze the existing relations. Historic moment bounded two brother country suffers from violence. Highly appreciating Pakistan’s support after the April wars, Azerbaijan has decided to see more Pakistani weapons in its military arsenal. This decision also affected the tension between Azerbaijan and Russia after the April wars. Azerbaijan and Pakistan entered a new era of military cooperation after the April wars.
Pakistan and Azerbaijan are in the phase of negotiation for purchase of JF-17 Thunder” and “Super Mushshak” jet fighters from Pakistan.
“Super Mushshak” is an upgraded version of Saab’s while JF17 Thunder fighter is an alternative to Su-24 for Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, according to the agreement signed between Russia and Armenia, at the initial stage 8, then 12 Su-24 fighters will be sold to Armenia. That’s why Azerbaijan has focused attention on the JF17 produced by Pakistan. It should be noted that, JF17 fighters have been used in recent dogfights between India and Pakistan and have become a real headache for India as JF17 bogged down one Indian Mig21 of India and captured Indian Air Force Pilot who was handed over back to India as goodwill gesture.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and Azerbaijan delegations also met in the third Azerbaijan International Defense Exhibition “ADEX 2018” in Baku Expo Center on September 25, 2018 led by Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Armed Forces of the Pakistan Islamic Republic, Lieutenant-General Malik Zafar Iqbal. An agreement was reached to purchase Pakistani aerial bombs during the meeting. The presentation of the various types of aerial bombs was held for Azerbaijani Air Force and approved. These aerial bombs allow for accurate destruction of fortified shelters, especially concrete shelters. Bombs can be dropped from airplanes in NATO countries, as well as Soviet planes.
On March 22, 2019, the delegation of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was on a visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, met the President of the country, Arif Alvi and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Armed Forces of the Pakistan Islamic Republic General Zubair Mahmud Hayat. During the meetings, the sides discussed military, political, economic and other issues, an agreement on enhancing of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan was signed. This agreement will enable Azerbaijan to receive new weapons from Pakistan and intensify its military cooperation in the near future.
Military parade of Pakistan’s Armed Forces was held on March 23 in Islamabad. Along with the Pakistan Army units in the parade, Azerbaijani Army units also attended. When infantry unit of Azerbaijani Army crosses the tribune, the delegations of Pakistani government stood up and greeted. The speaker of the Parade in the Azerbaijani language “Long live Azerbaijan! Long live Azerbaijan – Pakistan friendship! “.
The parade in Islamabad once again demonstrated the unshakable friendship and brotherhood between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. Holding Joint parade of Azerbaijani and Pakistani soldier in Kashmir and Karabakh is the biggest wish of two brother Muslim country from Allah.
Writer of this article Nejat İsmayilov is a political expert and journalist from Baku. He was educated degree in Politology in Sumqayit State University Azerbaijan.
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.