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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Azerbaijan thanks Pakistan on 1st anniversary of Karabakh liberation

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Azerbaijani Ambassador Khazar Farhadov thanked Pakistan for standing with his country on the Karabakh issue, saying his nation will always remember its true friends.

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The Azerbaijani Embassy in Pakistan on Monday marked the first anniversary of the “44-day patriotic war” against Armenia that resulted in the liberation of Karabakh and other territories under occupation for nearly three decades.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Azerbaijani Ambassador Khazar Farhadov thanked Pakistan for standing with his country on the Karabakh issue, saying his nation will always remember its true friends.

“Armenia occupied almost 20% of my country’s territory for 30 years, and during this time it committed war crimes, as well as crimes against humanity,” he said.

“Armenia committed the Khojaly genocide in February 1992, killing hundreds of civilians, including 106 women and 63 children … 1,275 Azerbaijanis were taken hostage, 150 of them are still missing.”

Read more: Azerbaijan thanks Pakistan and Turkey for support on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

On the night of Feb. 25-26, 1992, Armenian forces massacred ethnic Azerbaijanis in Khojaly, a small town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

During the two-hour Armenian offensive, 613 Azerbaijanis were killed and 487 others critically injured, according to Azerbaijani record.

Eight families were completely wiped out, while 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both.

Farhadov said the UN Security Council, in its four resolutions In 1993, called for immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces of Armenia from the territories of Azerbaijan.

“However, these and all other similar decisions adopted by relevant international organizations have been ignored by Armenia,” he said.

He expressed disappointment over the role of the UN Security Council, and said that some resolutions are implemented by the world body in a matter of hours and days, but they failed to implement its resolutions on Karabakh.

He claimed that Armenia committed war crimes in last year’s war, killing and injuring civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure.

“During the Patriotic War, the government, parliament and people of Pakistan morally and politically supported us, condemning Armenian aggression and supporting Azerbaijan’s just position to restore its territorial integrity,” he said, and added that his country also supports Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute, which should be resolved in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan and India hold parts of the Kashmir region but claim it in full. Both have fought three full-scale wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – and two of them were over Kashmir.

Read more: Pakistan guarantees support for reconstruction of Karabakh territories

Already fraught relations between the neighbors further plummeted after New Delhi scrapped the special status of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in Aug. 2019.

Earlier in a photo exhibition, the ambassador briefed reporters about the destruction of Azerbaijani territories during occupation.

Liberation of Karabakh

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27 last year, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages.

Read more: Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan need to harmonize developmental strategies

On Nov. 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk