Azerbaijan and Pakistan: Strategic partners
It would not be hyperbole to say that the world has become a global village. In the meantime, it is evident beyond the shred of doubt that states are main actors on the arena of world stage. It is well-established fact that in today’s globalised world no state can afford to isolate itself. So, it is the need of the hour that all the states must collaborate with each other to fulfill their strategic interests as well as to rescue each other in times of difficulties. Pakistan and Azerbaijan friendship is the shining example of cordial relationship and has set an example for other nations to follow their footsteps. If check the annals of history it can easily be palpable that both the states share similar ideological and religious beliefs.
Similarly, Pakistan was the first country that had given recognition to Azerbaijan’s sovereignty. There is no denying the impression that Azerbaijan has always been supporting Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue when the world at large has forgotten the valley that is soaked in blood. As if, everyone knows that 21st century has brought a paradigm shift in the international politics. Hence, Azerbaijan and Pakistan friendship has also become beef up to take full advantages of the globalised world.
Recently, both the states have inked down number of bilateral agreements to further strengthen the already harmonic ties. It would not be unfair to say that Pakistan and Azerbaijan are evolving into the main strategic partners on the world platform to dismantle themselves from plethora of quandaries.
It is very consequential to first take the glimpses of history due to which Pakistan and Azerbaijan become strategic partners. Azerbaijan got its independence from the USSR in the 1991 after a long struggle and emerged as a sovereign state in which Pakistan had played a pivotal role. Pakistan was the first country that had given recognition on December 12, 1991. Farooq Leghari was the first president that had visited Azerbaijan and sowed the seeds of friendship. Before the independence Pakistani people go there for business activities. To express their solidarity with the Azerbaijan’s people Pakistan had not extended de-facto recognition of the newly independent state of Armenia. These were the factors that had given birth to cordial relationship.
Furthermore, military collaboration between the two countries holds a vanguard position in the ongoing strategic partnership. The two countries had signed a Defense agreement back in May 2003. Azerbaijan naval personnel had participated in the largest naval exercise AMAN 2013 in the Arabian Sea which was organized by Pakistan Navy. Also the Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense was invited to demonstrate the JF17 thunder aircraft at the 2016 Azerbaijan International Defense Exhibition. It was a wonderful moment when Defense Minister of Azerbaijan Col Gen Zakir Hasanov visited Pakistan and witnessed Pakistan Day parade on 23rd March 2019. So, from the afore-mentioned discussion it can easily be noticeable that military cooperation has given birth to new era of strategic partnership.
Moreover, it was highly flabbergasting when the world had turned their face away from the Khojaly incidence; Pakistan had come forward to condemn the Khojaly carnage. A horrific massacre carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan’s people on the night of 25-26Feb, 1991 in which more than 600 people lost their lives. Pakistan has always extended their support to solve this issue according to the UN resolutions. So it is clear indication of strong strategic relations.
In addition to this, Azerbaijan also reciprocated in the similar fashion to support Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir issue throughout the history. Azerbaijan has been vocal to solve the Kashmir issue through UN resolution no 39 and 47. Azerbaijan is also a member of Organization of Islamic Cooperation group on Jammu and Kashmir. It can easily be noticeable that both the states fulfill their strategic interests.
Additionally, in the words of famous philosopher, “Pacts may be broken, treaties unilaterally denounced but the geography holds itself steadfast.” It is evident beyond an iota of doubt that Pakistan is energy deficient country and dependent upon other countries to fulfill its energy needs. In this regard, Pakistan can use Azerbaijan as a gateway to get access to energy rich Central Asian Republic states. In a similar fashion Azerbaijan has already given its admittance to CPEC to reach the Arabian Sea.
In a nutshell, Pakistan and Azerbaijan has been entangled into the fold of friendship and similar ideology as a result both the countries have done wonders for their people. It would not be unfair to say that both the states have collaborated with each other in times of difficulties to bring the ship from the troubled waters to the safe shores. It is evident beyond the realm of doubt that both the states have achieved a milestone in the military sphere to further strengthen their strategic interests. Pakistan has always come forward to support Azerbaijan and latter also reciprocated in the similar fashion. It is the need of the hour to extend their collaboration to many other areas to become an example for other nations as well.