A Meeting with Azerbaijan’s Friends in Pakistan - POTO

A Meeting with Azerbaijan’s Friends in Pakistan - POTO

Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova had a meeting on 3 June with members of the Interparliamentary Friendship Group active in both the Senate and the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Sahiba Gafarova began the meeting with compliments on the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation’s visit to Pakistan, it having taken part in the 2nd General Conference of the PAECO and the matters discussed during the conference. She proceeded to express satisfaction with the meetings held in the format of the official visit, saying that the friendship groups of the parliaments of Azerbaijan and Pakistan were meeting in such a format for the first time ever. This meeting matters much for discussion of the issues of shared interest. The Azerbaijani-Pakistani relations that are progressing dynamically have a strategic aspect to them today. To quote the President of Azerbaijan Mr Ilham Aliyev, the mutual support of our countries demonstrates vividly the fraternal essence of our collaboration. As regards the documents that have been signed to date to form the legal frameworks for the interrelations, one should mention specifically the Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership between the Azerbaijan Republic and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The high-level political dialogue bears on the economic interaction, too.

Sahiba Gafarova then referred to the rising cultural and humanitarian ties; in her opinion, those bring the two nations yet closer together. Material social and humanitarian projects have been carried out in those areas with the support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation led by the First Vice President of the Azerbaijan Republic Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva. It is for those noble deeds that Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva was decorated with Pakistan’s supreme award – the Hilal-e-Pakistan.

Madame Chair continued to say about a sparkling new page in the history of fraternity between Azerbaijan and Pakistan that was leafed open in 2020. Azerbaijan then restored its territorial integrity during the 44-day Patriotic War, left the Highland Garabagh Conflict behind once and for all and, at that, enforced the four resolutions of the UN Security Council all by itself. Now, it was in that period, from the very first days of the Patriotic War that Azerbaijan waged, that Pakistan took a firm stand in defence of Azerbaijan’s just stance and extended both political and moral backing to our country. It is highly praiseworthy that Pakistan has to date not recognised Armenia as a state because of its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. Sahiba Gafarova thanked both houses (the National Assembly and the Senate) and the Friendship Group of the Pakistani Parliament as well as the Pakistani state and people for the documents adopted to condemn the Khojali Genocide.

It was while the Patriotic War thundered on that the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan passed the resolutions which, one can safely say without exaggeration, proved a true moral pillar to us, according to Mrs Gafarova. The unanimous approval and adoption by the Pakistani Senate in October last year of the resolution of the Permanent Committee for the Cabinet Secretariat condemning the Armenian aggression against our country and supporting Azerbaijan as well as the resolution deploring the Armenian aggression in the Highland Garabagh region of the Azerbaijan Republic that was enacted at the plenary session of the National Assembly in, again, October last year are both very much appreciated by the Azerbaijani side. We applaud such a course of action that our friends in the Parliament of Pakistan had taken, said Mrs Gafarova.

Now, then, the Highland Garabagh Conflict is history whereas Azerbaijan has begun and is continuing large-scale restoration and rebuilding in the territories recovered from the Armenian captors. Our mosques, monuments of culture and other edifices in the provinces formerly in the Armenian captivity, their whole infrastructure had been annihilated completely. The enemies had not even stopped short of desecrating our shrines and mosques.

Though the conflict is over, some problems remain pending. For instance, Armenia is refusing to let Azerbaijan have the maps of the minefields left in the territories it had held under occupation for thirty years but Azerbaijan liberated during the Patriotic War. That refusal is a war crime that Armenia is committing today. Not only that, but Armenia is also breaching the stipulations of the trilateral statement of 10 November 2020 by continuing despatches of terrorist groups to the freed lands and then attempting to make them appear to be ‘prisoners of war’ following their apprehension on the Azerbaijani  soil after the signing date of the said trilateral statement.

It is notable and commendable that the friendship groups formed in the Azerbaijani and Pakistani parliaments are deemed the groups with the broadest representation of all. For instance, the Group of Interparliamentary Friendship with Azerbaijan is drawn from both the National Assembly and the Senate, Mrs Gafarova noted.

A member of the Senate of Pakistan and Leader of the Group of Interparliamentary Friendship with Azerbaijan Muhammad Talha Mahmood expressed his pleasure at seeing the delegation of Azerbaijan within the walls of the Pakistani parliament before saying that Pakistan considered Azerbaijan a friendly and brotherly state and was keen on furthering the relations with it. It should be mentioned in this respect that the progress of the relationship in the parliamentary dimension will promote more in-depth ties in other areas, too, according to Muhammad Talha Mahmood.

The Pakistani Senator congratulated the Azerbaijani side on its victory in the Patriotic War, reiterated the Pakistani Parliament’s backing in the matter and said that the people of Pakistan were glad of Azerbaijan’s successes.

Senator Mahmood proceeded to talk about the importance of exchanged visits of the MPs in the two friendship groups and of close interaction between our delegations at international venues. He said he believed that such events mattered in that they allowed the two parties talk over the issues occupying their thoughts as well as to demonstrate common standpoints.

The co-ordinator of the Group for Azerbaijan in the National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi and the leader of the Working Group for the Azerbaijan-Pakistan interparliamentary connexions Ganira Pashayeva, too, brought up the significance of the meeting of the two friendship groups being held in precisely this format. They referred to the importance of eventual meetings of both parliaments’ members. The MPs shared their ideas about future development vectors of the interparliamentary relations.

Also, the first meeting of the Azerbaijani and Pakistani parliamentarians in such a format saw an exchange of opinions about other topics of interest to both sides.

The event was concluded with a speech by Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova.


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