Heral Tribune : Remembering a great leader Heydar Aliyev.

By Raja Javed Batti

Heydar Aliyev was of those prominent figures who stood with their nations during the days of need and lead them to the prosperous future. He was the one who made a modern Azerbaijan, a country of civilization, high culture and most harmonious mixture of ancient history with strong traditions and the boldest modernism, and thus engraved his name to the history. The great journey of development that has made Azerbaijan stood amongst the greatest nations of the world is correlated to the life and efforts of Heydar Aliyev.

Heydar Aliyev was a ray of hope for his Nation in the era of despair and distrust . With his wise and foresighted policies, great Azerbaijani leader Heydar Aliyev is the architect of independent and economically developed country. President Heydar Aliyev was instrumental in playing an indispensable role in keeping the country united, independent and sailing smoothly on a steady path of economic development.

Soon after becoming President of the country, the visionary leader was able to elevate the country’s status as an important global player. A charismatic leader, he made all efforts to make his country important in the eyes of the West and equally secure relations with the East.

Heydar Aliyev was born in Nakhchivan city of Azerbaijan, graduated from Azerbaijan Industrial Institute where he studied architecture. Later he went on to pursue his graduation from Baku State University with majors in History in 1957. He also received special higher education in Leningrad, Russian (present St. Petersburg).

Heydar Aliyev started his carrier in 1941, having headed a department at the Internal Affairs division of Nakhchivan, and got transferred in 1944 to the state security bodies. H.Aliyev possessed the highest ranks of Communist Party –member of Political Bureau as well as position of First Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR. But later as a sign of protest to the policies of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the USSR’s Communist Party, resigned from this post.

The Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in 1991. First years of the newly born state was crucial – aggression of Armenia, collapsed economy, unemployment, skyrocketing inflation. In June 1993 the crisis reached a peak level. The country was at verge of civil war. At that particular time people of Azerbaijan demanded Heydar Aliyev to return to power. And Heydar Aliyev, considering adversity of his nation, accepted the request and returned to politics in Azerbaijan. This return brought hope and joy for his countrymen. On 15 June 1993, Heydar Aliyev headed the parliament and later was elected a President of Azerbaijan on national elections with overwhelming majority.

Heydar Aliyev utilized his all skills, experience and energies for achieving his dreams and goals for his country and people, to put the country on the path of economic development. He was instrumental in identifying that the nation’s oil and gas resources potential could be the key in securing the independence and successful economic development of Azerbaijan following the country’s succession from the Soviet Union. The visionary leader convinced the major powers to invest to oil exploration and development, thus creating mutually beneficial relations with European countries, US and Turkey.

Heydar Aliyev was an author of Oil Strategy of Azerbaijan that paved the way to renaissance of his country. The contracts on production and procurement of oil and energy has been signed which gave boost to the economic development of the country. A production sharing agreement (PSA) on Azerbaijani Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore fields was considered as a Contract of the Century agreement that led to major investment in the country. Heydar Aliyev ensured the diversification of the transport routs to deliver hydrocarbons to the Western markets. This has not only brought substantial dividends to the budget but served to strengthen political sovereignty of the state as well.

During his rule, Heydar Aliyev provided outstanding support to his native land and the progress that he persistently worked hard to achieve for his country earned him respect and love from countrymen even after his death. For his character, life and works, Heydar Aliyev received admiration as a legendary leader of Azerbaijanis and as a respectable political personality from around the globe.

In 1999, Heydar Aliyevs’ health begins to deteriorate and later in 2003 he stood down from presidency. His son, the current president of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev became the next president after the sad demise of President Heydar Aliyev on 12 December, 2013. He was buried at the Alley of Honor cemetery in Baku.

Today’s Azerbaijan is a stable and prosperous while at the same time it is united and progressive. The economic independence and progress that the country achieved during the time of Heydar Aliyev are continued and the incumbent government is still following those policies. The economic progress of Azerbaijan is coupled with social cohesion and evolution.

The legacy of Heydar Aliyev is remembered and cherished by people of Azerbaijan. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been established on the grounds of the nation’s wish to express its esteem for the memory of Heydar Aliyev. The foundation that is led by First Lady of Azerbaijan reflects the rich moral heritage of Heydar Aliyev. In the domain of its activity Heydar Aliyev Foundation fulfilled projects in Azerbaijan and abroad. Number of healthcare, education and humanitarian projects have also been implemented in Pakistan.

Heydar Aliyev was one of the architects of Pakistan-Azerbaijan relations. His visit to Pakistan in 1996, meeting with leadership of Pakistan, number of agreements in different walks of life signed during that historic visit laid strong foundation of the ties between two brotherly countries. Happily, nowadays these relations are expanding and developing covering all spheres of life.

The author is President of Azerbaijan-Pakistan Media Forum

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