Islamabad – 27 September 2023 (Adnan Hameed): The Embassy of Azerbaijan in Islamabad, observed “Remembrance Day” to honor the soldiers and officers who valiantly fought in the Patriotic War, reclaimed Azerbaijani territories, and made the ultimate sacrifice for the territorial integrity of their country.

During a book presentation ceremony titled “The History of Patriotic War – Personality Factor and to Celebrate the Day,” Ambassador Khazar Farhadov recounted the history of the conflict and highlighted Azerbaijan’s resilience in the face of nearly three decades of illegal occupation by Armenia.

During his speech, he said that 3 years back, on 27 September 2020, a counter-offensive was launched in response to Armenia’s yet another large-scale military attack on Azerbaijani Army positions and civilian settlements. At the end of the 44-day Patriotic War, under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev, our army liberated Azerbaijan’s territories from Armenian occupation and Armenia was forced to sign an act of capitulation.

As a sign of deep respect for Azerbaijani soldiers and officers, all the martyrs, who fought heroically in the Patriotic War, waved the Azerbaijani flag in the liberated lands and sacrificed their lives for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, September 27 is marked as Remembrance Day in Azerbaijan every year.

As you know the trilateral statement was signed by Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia on 10 November 2020. Since then, Armenia not only refused to implement some of the articles of that statement but also continued its provocations and planted landmines in the territories of Azerbaijan which have caused the loss of more than 300 precious lives.

On September 19, a vehicle belonging to the Azerbaijan State Agency for Automobile Roads exploded hitting a land mine previously planted by the reconnaissance-subversion groups of Armenia’s armed forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, with the purpose of committing a terror act, on the Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha Road that killed two civilians. The same day, the explosion of vehicle carrying the military personnel of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the mine, installed by the reconnaissance-subversion groups of Armenia’s armed forces led to fatalities and injuries among our military servicemen. Such facts are the testimony to the ongoing deliberate and planned policy of terror by Armenia against Azerbaijan.

Contrary to the provisions of the Trilateral Statement signed on 10 November 2020, the continued presence of Armenia’s armed forces formations in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan was the source of a grave threat to regional peace and stability.

Therefore, local anti-terror measures have been launched to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Statement, suppress large-scale provocations in the Karabakh economic region, to disarm and secure the withdrawal of formations of Armenia’s armed forces from our territories, neutralize their military infrastructure, provide the safety of the civilian population returned to the territories liberated from occupation, the civilians involved in construction and restoration work and our military personnel, and ultimately restore the constitutional order of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

During the local anti-terror measures the civilian population and civilian infrastructure facilities were not targeted. Only legitimate military targets were incapacitated.

After 23 hours 53 minutes, the formations of Armenia’s armed forces stationed in the Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and illegal armed groups laid down their arms and surrendered.

Unfortunately, we had martyrs during 44 days of the Patriotic War, during anti-terror measures as well as during Armenian provocations in these years. May Allah rest the souls of our martyrs in peace!
Furhadov further, mentioned that brotherly Pakistan from the first day of the former Karabakh conflict, as well as the during Patriotic War in 2020 and during the local anti-terror measures morally and politically supported the just position of Azerbaijan and it has been highly appreciated by the Government and people of Azerbaijan.

Right after the liberation, Azerbaijan started massive reconstruction and restoration works in the liberated areas by allocating billions of USD.

Some of you, have already visited our liberated territories and witnessed with your own eyes how great efforts made by Azerbaijan over there. Great Return has already started. Many former IDPs have returned to the revived Fuzuli, Zangilan, and Lachin and more families are being relocated to their homeland.
Fuzuli and Zangilan International Airports were built, and Lachin International Airport is underway and will be completed soon.

Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan and Aghdam has already become a venue for international events. Even the “Pakistan Colors” group performed the “Bhangra” dance at the 5th “Kharibulbul” International Folklore Festival which was held in Shusha in May 2022.
I would like to extend my deep gratitude to our brotherly Pakistani media representatives for their support in highlighting the Azerbaijan realities among the Pakistani public as well as in the international arena.

Now I would like to inform you about the book “The History of Patriotic War – Personality Factor“
This book is dedicated to one of the most glorious pages in the history of Azerbaijan – the 44-day Patriotic War commencing on September 27, 2020, and ending with the liberation of our occupied lands and the historical triumph of Azerbaijan. It articulates the story of the First Karabakh War, the reasons for its defeat, actions taken after National Leader Heydar Aliyev’s rise to power towards settling the “former” Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and national army development.

The book also highlights key strategy directions employed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev and thoroughly reviews the chronicle of Victory and diplomacy during the Second Karabakh War. The geo-political consequences of Azerbaijan’s historic victory and the post-war strategy of President Ilham Aliyev in the socio-economic development of Karabakh are widely covered as well.

This book offers a comprehensive chronicle of Victory in the Patriotic War.

Khizar Farhadov also informed about the Western Azerbaijan Community which was established as the Society of Azerbaijani Refugees in 1989 and was renamed to the Community of Western Azerbaijan in 2022, deals with the protection of the rights of the Azerbaijanis, who were expelled from the area, which was their homeland for centuries, and which is now called Armenia.

The ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis was carried out in most cases with systematic efforts of state authorities by using violence, massacres, and other crimes against humanity and human rights violations. This process was especially violent and cruel in 1905-06, 1918-21, 1948-53, and 1988-91. The results of these acts, especially the deeds of the entities called “The Republic of Armenia” and “The Mountainous Republic of Armenia”, the Soviet Union, in particular its notorious leader Joseph Stalin, who ensured the transfer of Zangezur and other Azerbaijani-majority areas to Armenia in 1921 and signed the racist order on the deportation of one hundred thousand of ethnic Azerbaijanis from Armenia, as well as the malfeasance of the leadership of the Armenian SSR in 1988-91 remain unredressed. As a result of the ethnic cleansing, this territory has been inhabited exclusively by ethnic Armenians since 1991.

Azerbaijani cultural and historical heritage, including mosques and graveyards in nowadays Armenia, were destroyed, toponyms were changed, and systematic racial discrimination against Azerbaijanis was carried out in this country. The persons involved in ethnic cleansing and other crimes against ethnic Azerbaijanis and their misdeeds are glorified in Armenia as a matter of state policy.

This unprecedented injustice created a sense of impunity among the ruling circles of Armenia and encouraged them to territorial claims, use of force and military occupation against the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, further massive ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity.
The inability of Azerbaijanis, who were expelled from nowadays Armenia, to return to their homes, and the continuation of the policy of mono-ethnic statehood, ethnic cleansing, and racial discrimination in Armenia represent an immense injustice.

This poses a grave threat to the maintenance of lasting peace.

The return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia should be ensured within the framework of a legally binding international agreement with proper verification and guarantee mechanisms. Enabling the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia to their homes and ensuring their individual and collective rights is the necessary condition for sustainable peace in the region.

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