By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD (AA) – Pakistan’s armed force chief said Friday that his forces fully support Azerbaijan’s position in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Alizada met with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen. Nadeem Raza at the Joint Staff headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to discuss matters of bilateral interest and regional security, according to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) — the Pakistan army's media wing.
The military forces chief reaffirmed the brotherly relationship between the two countries and said it is built on strong foundations.
"CJCSC [Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee] said that Pakistan Armed Forces fully support Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is in line with the several unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions," according to ISPR.
The ambassador thanked Raza for Pakistan's support for the just cause of Azerbaijan.
"Pleased to call on General Nadeem Raza, the Chairman JCSC of Pakistan & discuss the ways of further strengthening bilateral #military relations between our brotherly countries," he tweeted following the meeting.
Last week, Pakistani Foreign Ministry refuted Indian media reports that Pakistan is fighting alongside Azerbaijani forces against Armenia in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and termed the reports “irresponsible, speculative, and baseless."
The ministry also said it supports Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is in line with the several unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and since then Armenia has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, leading to casualties.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Some 20% of Azerbaijan's territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for some three decades.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was reached in 1994.
Many world powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged an immediate cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense.