Azerbaijan always supported Pakistan’s stance at international forums: Rana Tanveer
Naveed Ahmed Khan Photos by Raja Farid
—Minister of Federal Education and Professional Training of Pakistan Rana Tanveer Hussain said that Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations had evolved into a robust and multi-dimensional partnership since the formal establishment of bilateral ties in 1992. He highlighted that both countries had a long-standing tradition of supporting each other on their issues of core interest. He exclusively talks to Daily The spokesman on the occasion of Azerbaijan’s Independence Day reception where he graced the event as the chief guest.
The event was held at Sheesh Mahal, Serena Hotel here in Islamabad and attended by Ambassador of Turkmenistan/ Dean of Diplomatic Corps to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov, foreign ambassadors, Representatives of the Pakistani government, public, cultural, and business circles, high-ranked officers, media representatives, as well as Azerbaijan nationals residing in Pakistan.
Federal Minister Rana Tanveer recalled Pakistan’s support for Azerbaijan’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. He appreciated Azerbaijan’s principle stance on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, noting that Azerbaijan had been a consistent advocate for the rights of the Kashmiri people as a member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir. While expressing satisfaction with the state of bilateral relations, the Minister reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to further strengthen and diversify its cooperation with Azerbaijan, particularly in the economic, trade, and cultural domains.
Ambassador Farhadov began his speech by expressing gratitude to the attendees for joining in the celebration of Azerbaijan’s Independence Day. His Excellency emphasized the significance of May 28, commemorating the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918 as the first democratic secular republic in the Muslim East.
Recalling the achievements of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic during its 3 decades of existence, Ambassador Farhadov highlighted the formation of the first Parliament and Government, the determination of borders, and the adoption of national symbols, such as the flag, anthem, and coat of arms. Notably, recognizing equal rights for all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity and religion, and granting women the right to vote were remarkable milestones. However, the Ambassador acknowledged the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Bolsheviks in 1920, leading to the demise of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the people of Azerbaijan re-established their independent state, building upon the traditions of their earlier republic.
Ambassador Farhadov expressed gratitude to the late National Leader of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, who assumed power in 1993 during a crisis and played a vital role in strengthening the nation’s independence. The Ambassador highlighted the ongoing celebrations of Heydar Aliyev’s 100th birth anniversary in Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and other friendly countries. Under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan continues to flourish, with notable successes in various areas of national life.
The Ambassador emphasized the recent victory in the Patriotic War 2020, during which the Azerbaijani Army liberated territories from Armenian occupation within 44 days. Subsequently, the government initiated extensive restoration and reconstruction efforts, facilitating the return of Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to their ancestral lands.
While talking about the Pakistan-Azerbaijan relationship, the Ambassador said, we share the history of deep-rooted friendship, brotherhood, and strategic partnership between both countries. He highlighted and counted the various significant pillars of bilateral relations.
Ambassador Farhadov expressed gratitude to Pakistan for being among the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991. He underscored the mutual support between the two nations, both bilaterally and within international organizations. The Ambassador further emphasized on strengthening ties between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, which have seen tremendous growth in various fields in previous years. He said the direct flights between the two countries, initiated in 2022, have facilitated increased tourism, with 50,000 Pakistani visitors to Azerbaijan in the same year. While the launching of the online ASAN visa system for Pakistani citizens has also enhanced people-to-people connectivity.
In recognition of the close ties, Azerbaijan exempted rice from import customs duty for rice originating from Pakistan, contributing to a nearly tripled trade turnover between the two nations.
At the end of the ceremony, Ambassador Farhadov expressed gratitude to all attendees for joining the celebration of Azerbaijan’s Independence Day and emphasized the continued growth of relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. Ambassadors and senior diplomats from the Central Asian States, as well as Turkey, participated in the cake-cutting ceremony, by adding a more jubilant atmosphere at the occasion.