Islamabad, Pakistan: Speech of Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Pakistan Khazar Farhadov on the occasion of May 28 – Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan:
“First of all, I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you for joining us to celebrate the Independence Day of Azerbaijan.
May 28 is celebrated as the Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan every year. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic which was the first democratic secular republic in the Muslim East was established on May 28, 1918.
The newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic honorably fulfilled the difficult historical task it undertook.
The first Parliament and Government of Azerbaijan, the state apparatus was formed, the borders of the country were determined, the flag, anthem, and coat of arms were created, the Azerbaijani language was declared the state language, serious measures were taken in the field of state building. The country’s territorial integrity and national security were ensured, highly combat-capable military units were created in a short period of time, state bodies were established in accordance with national requirements and democratic principles, and special attention was paid to the development of education and culture. The first university of Azerbaijan was founded, education was nationalized, and exceptionally important works were done in terms of the history of public opinion, which prepared the ground for the cultural advancement of the nation in the following years. Recognition of equal rights of all citizens regardless of ethnic and religious affiliation, and giving women the right to vote even before many European countries was one of the great successes of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic existed for only 23 months till the Bolshevik’s occupation on April 28, 1920.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the people of Azerbaijan established an independent Republic of Azerbaijan based on the traditions of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
In May-June 1993, when the government crisis became extremely acute and there was a threat of civil war and loss of independence in the country, the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was brought to power for the second time at the demand of the people and Azerbaijan entered a new stage of independence. Under the leadership of Great Leader Heydar Aliyev, tremendous efforts were done and steps taken to strengthen the independence of Azerbaijan and the era of prosperity and economic development started for the country.
I should mention that this year we celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of our National Leader Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and other brotherly countries.
Today, Azerbaijan continues this successful tradition under the leadership of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan which was inherited by our National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
These successes are reflected in all aspects of the Azerbaijani people’s lives. As a result of the Patriotic War in 2020, Azerbaijani Army liberated our territories from Armenian occupation within 44 days. Right after the liberation, the Government of Azerbaijan started large-scale restoration and reconstruction works there and the Great Return of former Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to their land has begun.
After the restoration of Azerbaijan’s Independence in 1991, Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and Pakistan are bound by the relations of strong friendship, brotherhood, and strategic partnership based on historical and cultural roots. The two countries have always supported each other both bilaterally and within international organizations.
Brotherly relations between the two countries are deepening, developing, and strengthening every year. Azerbaijan gives great importance to Pakistan. In 2022, under the instruction of H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, our country was among the first countries who rushed for help during the large-scale flood in Pakistan.
The ties between the two brotherly countries continue to grow in an upward trajectory in all fields. Direct flights between Azerbaijan and Pakistan which are being operated since 2022 tremendously contribute to these relations. 50.000 Pakistani tourists visited Azerbaijan in 2022. I must mention that Pakistan is one of the countries that is included in the online ASAN visa system of Azerbaijan. The citizens of Pakistan can easily obtain a visa online within 3 hours and visit Azerbaijan. This direct connectivity brings people from all circles of the two countries closer. In 2022, the Government of Azerbaijan, taking into account the fraternal relations, exempted rice from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the same origin from import customs duty. It is not a coincidence that trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan has almost tripled last year and this year we are expecting more.
At the end of my speech, I would like once again to thank all of you for joining us to celebrate the Independence Day of Azerbaijan”.