Azerbaijan emerged as a democracy almost a century ago, exactly 98 years. Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan hosted glittering reception in the federal capital of Pakistan to celebrate the Republic Day. A large number of diplomats graced the function
They included ambassadors from Turkey, Russia, Iran, Ukraine, Sweden, Italy and Central Asian countries as well as envoys of many other countries. There were prominent Pakistanis from various segments of the society and Azeri families living in Pakistan. Azeri children accompanying the parents added colour and mirth to the celebration. Minister of State, Federal Education Engr Baleegh-ur-Rehman was the chief guest who joined the Charge d’Affaires of Azerbaijan Chingiz Garibli and other guests in cutting the ceremonial cake. National anthems of Pakistan and Azerbaijan heralded the celebration. A documentary film was on the screen to highlight Azeri culture and achievements over the years.
Minister Baleegh-ur-Rehman in his address on the occasion highlighted cordial and cooperative relations that have existed between Pakistan and Azerbaijan. He said the two countries are closely cooperating with each other in many areas. There is desire on both sides to expand the spectrum of cooperation. The two countries have similar views on major regional and world issues. Pakistan has always supported the Azeri stand on Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan supports right of the Kashmiri people to self determination. Chingiz Garibli in his address spoke of close friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, saying that “the relations are continuity of history and geographical proximity”.
Reflecting its political, social economic maturity, rich civilization and culture, Azerbaijani set out to establish government institutions in Democratic Republic (ADR) which was the first democratic, legal state in the whole East and Muslim world, integrating national values with the gains of humanity. However ADR’s existence lasted just 23 months as it was interrupted by Red Army occupation. But taste of liberation never vanished from the hearts of Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijan again won freedom in 1991 with the ideals of independence and traditions that had been embodied by the founders of the Democratic Republic. Azerbaijan has a great cultural potential. Science ancient times, many peoples, ethnic and religious groups have co-existed in Azerbaijan in peaceful atmosphere and enjoyed equal rights and opportunities.
After regaining independence, the government of Azerbaijan took very important steps to provide facilities for its people in the field of politics, economy and culture. Numerous mosques were restored and built and but all over the country. Also the government provided equal rights to the non-Muslim religious groups. Azerbaijan has faced the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and core issue of Azerbaijan is the liberation of the occupied lands, and restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Today, Azerbaijan has the ability to preserve its independence and sovereignty and to strengthen it. Pakistan was the third country that recognized independence of Azerbaijan in 1991, after Turkey and Romania and one of the first countries that opened its embassy in Baku. Pakistan supports Azerbaijan’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and refuses to recognize Armenia due to its aggression over Azerbaijani lands. And Azerbaijan always supports Pakistan’s efforts into the settlement of Kashmir issue in accordance with UN resolutions. Azerbaijan is the member of OIC Contact Group on Kashmir. Brotherly relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan are expanding in all fields of life.