Decisive leadership, calculated response to oppressing forces helped liberate Nagorno-Karabakh: Mushahid

Decisive leadership, calculated response to oppressing forces helped liberate Nagorno-Karabakh: Mushahid

ISLAMABAD, Feb 26 (APP): Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Monday said the decisive leadership and calculated response, upholding international laws, ensuring territorial sovereignty of a nation-state to the oppressing forces of Armenia enabled the Republic of Azerbaijan to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh.

Addressing a seminar titled, “Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing: A Crime against Humanity, the 32nd Anniversary of the Khujaly genocide”, jointly organised by the MUSLIM Institute and the Azerbaijani Embassy, the Senate Defence Committee Chairman termed the Nagorno-Karabakh Genocide as a dark chapter of human history. In February 1992, Armenian forces reportedly seized the Azeri-populated town of Khojaly. Armenian militants started the massacre of civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this massacre 613 innocent Azerbaijanis, including 106 women and 83 children, were massacred. Eight families were exterminated, four hundred and seventy-six people were permanently disabled and a total of 1275 people were taken hostage.

Senator Mushahid said there were double standards of the so-called international community when it came to the ethnic cleansing or genocide of Muslims in any part of the world.

“In 1974, the then Turkiye Prime Minister Mustafa Bulent Ecevit sent forces to fight the occupant forces in the Northern Turkish Cyprus to halt a massacre and genocide whereas another example of such brave action is of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev who said despite global two-faced politics and tactics fought against Armenian occupation and achieved its liberation. Pakistan was first to support the defence action and as per global laws by Turkiye in Northern Turkish Cyprus,” the Senator said.

However, during the course of time Pakistan and Turkiye stood like a rock with President Aliyev on his stance on Nagorno-Karabakh, he said, adding, “The biggest lesson is that sometimes the leadership has to show decisive action.”

Earlier a one-minute silence was observed to honour the martyrs of Khojaly genocide and later a brief documentary highlighting the history of Genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh by the Armenian occupant forces and unbridled violence and atrocities against the innocent Azerbaijanis and fateha (prayer) was also offered for Khojaly martyrs.

Senator Mushahid mentioned that he and Senator Walid Iqbal were the first to declare Khojaly massacre recognition as genocide through their joint resolution approved by the Senate of Pakistan.

Turkiye Ambassador Dr Mehmet Pacaci in his keynote address said the forum was convened to acknowledge a dark moment in history that left a deep mark in our hearts, as several people got killed, disabled with a over thousand captured during the conflict and many went missing.

“We feel great pain for our brothers and sisters massacred in Khojaly. The brutal massacre in Khojaly is a permanent standing history and we share a deep reverence for Azerbaijan in our hearts. The relationship between Turkiye and Azerbaijan is defined as one nation two states,” he added.

However, the Khojaly massacre was a reminder of the fact that what happened when the world community remained indifferent to human rights violations in an illegally occupied territory, that’s why his country and the Muslim nations were concerned about Israeli genocide in Gaza, he added.

Ambassador Pacaci noted that the Kashmir issue’s resolution was vital for lasting peace, prosperity, and stability in South Asia. “Our solidarity with Kashmiris will continue to end their sufferings through peaceful solutions. Moreover, Turkiye is committed to contributing to building a world that respects all. However, the bond uniting Turkiye, Pakistan and Azerbaijan is through their shared history,” he added.

In his address, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador, Khazar Farhadov said the anniversary of Khojaly Genocide was observed with great reverence by the people of Azerbaijan demanding justice for Khojaly martyrs. “The genocide was committed deliberately against Muslim Azerbaijanis. Heydar Aliyev Foundation started movement to create awareness against real policies and crimes of Armenian state to create ethnic cleansing in the disputed region,” he added.

“Today we are first time marking Khojaly massacre with a clear demand for justice. After the Khojaly was separated first time by Azerbaijani armed forces from the separatists, President Ilham Aliyev hoisted the national flag in the newly liberated territory that embodied strength, solidarity, and a bond of loyalty with Khojaly victims. We can gradually achieve and protect our rights and prevent this link of acts, massacres and genocides through leadership vision and consistent national efforts,” he added.

Ambassador of Northern Turkish Cyprus Dilsad Senol thanked the panellists for highlighting the history of bloodshed and ethnic cleansing of Turkish people in Northern Turkish Cyprus in 1963 and 1974. She added that the world community had turned its blind eye to it, but the Turkish army intervention stopped the massacre.

Senator Walid Iqbal in his remarks read out his grandfather, the Great Poet of East Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s New Year Letter written 86 years ago on January 1, 1938, which was read out at the Lahore station of the then All India Radio.

The letter highlighted the paradox of modern progress in knowledge and scientific advancements alongside the continued presence of imperialism and oppression under various guises such as Democracy, Nationalism, Communism, and Fascism. It criticized the rulers and statesmen who have prioritized dominion and imperial possessions over the freedom and dignity of individuals, leading to bloodshed, tyranny, and the erosion of cultural traditions. It emphasized for unity that values respect for all humanity, transcending barriers of race, nationality, and religion.

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