Islamabad: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said that Pakistan and Azerbaijan share an enduring diplomatic relationship and the similarities between the two countries are striking not only for having a similar cultural, religious, and geopolitical outlook but similar views on regional and international issues. The Speaker said that Azerbaijan being an important country in Asia could play its role in OIC and other regional forums to raise the plight of people of illegally occupied Kashmir. The Speaker expressed these views during a meeting with Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizada, in Parliament House, today.
The Speaker underlined the need for closer cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan inter-parliamentary relations for the development of political and economic relations between the two countries. He said that Pak- Azerbaijan Parliamentary friendship group could be an apt forum to enhance those relations. He also stressed the need to reinvigorate Parliamentary Union of ECO Member states (PAECO).
Referring to the issue of Kashmir, the Speaker said that it was flash point of South Asia and may trigger escalation if not peacefully settled as per aspiration people of Kashmir. He said that Indian government stripped Kashmir of its autonomy and unique regional identity through the revocation of Article 370 and 35-A of Indian constitution. He said that decision to rescind the statute was followed by an organized brutal crackdown against innocent civilians including women and children and crippling any sign of life in the illegally occupied Valley and other parts of the region.
Touching upon the issue of Nagorno Karabakh conflict Speaker said that Pakistan supports Azerbaijan’s fair position. He said that Pakistan has always supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the settlement of the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh in accordance with the UN resolutions.
Referring to the CPEC, the Speaker said that both of the countries can acquire a bigger volume of trade in the upcoming future. He said that immense scope of cooperation exist between both the countries therefore Azerbaijan mission in Islamabad could play a pivotal role in this regard. He suggested closer interaction between Commerce and Agriculture Committees of both the legislatures for further enhancing mutual trade and economic ties.
The Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizada said that his country also attaches to immense importance to its relations with Pakistan. He said that they are steadily accelerating and both always enjoyed longstanding warm and cordial relations. Ambassador Ali Alizada said that his country wholeheartedly supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. He said that his country stands with Kashmiris in their struggle for the right of self-determination. He expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan for extending diplomatic support on issue of Nagorno Karabakh.
He said that Azerbaijan wants to strengthen the economic and cultural ties along with mutual trade. He said that with the operational of CPEC and growing regional connectivity will also provide both the two countries to cooperate in multiple sectors. He agreed for enhancing parliamentary cooperation between two legislatures.