Islamabad/ Baku; Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova met with Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Asad Qaiser on 3 June as part of her current official visit to that country.
Saying that he was glad to see the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation led by the Chair of the Milli Majlis in Pakistan, the Chairman of the National Assembly said confidently that the visit was going to make a contribution to the progress of the bilateral interparliamentary relations. Asad Qaiser also complimented on the co-operation of the two countries’ legislatures in the format of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Co-operation Organisation and underscored the significance of the subjects that had been discussed at the 2nd General Conference of the PAECO.
The National Assembly passed a resolution deploring the territorial aggression of Armenia against the Azerbaijan Republic as a token of its support to the fraternal country at the time of the 44-day Patriotic War waged by Azerbaijan. That resolution stated the categorical position of Pakistan on the subject, Mr Qaiser stressed.
The Chairman of the National Assembly mentioned with satisfaction the working bonds between the friendship groups active in the parliaments of both countries as well as their regular video meetings and collaboration in the parliamentary diplomacy context.
Sahiba Gafarova expressed her appreciation of the sincere welcome and pleasure with her first official visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as the Chair of the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan. She went further to say that the Azerbaijani-Pakistani relations that stem from the common religious and cultural values, solid friendship and fraternity now also mattered strategically. The leaders of the two states pay special attention to making the amicable and fraternal ties stronger; the mutual visits of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic Mr Ilham Aliyev and of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr Arif Alvi are of exceptional importance for the advancement of the bipartite connexions.
Regarding the cultural and humanitarian links between the two countries, the Chair of the Milli Majlis placed a special emphasis on the workings in this realm of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation helmed by the First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva. Mrs Gafarova recalled that Azerbaijan’s First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva had been awarded the Hilal-e-Pakistan, the highest decoration of the country, for the kind deeds done by her.
Then, Sahiba Gafarova spoke of Azerbaijan having liberated its lands from the Armenian occupation in the 44-day-long Patriotic War under the leadership of President and Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev last year. She thanked the Government and Parliament of Pakistan for their resolute support given to the stance of our country that was just and reliant on the international laws. Mrs Gafarova added that the documents that the Parliament and several departments of Pakistan had adopted in connexion with the Khojali Tragedy were in the same strain precisely. A vivid sign of that support came in the form of a resolution condemning the Armenian aggression against the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic passed at a plenary sitting of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The Highland Garabagh Conflict is history now, remarked the Chair of the Milli Majlis. Azerbaijan has begun and is doing the large-scale rebuilding and restoration work in the territories delivered from the Armenian occupation. Our mosques, material cultural heritage and all the other edifices left in the lands captured by Armenia formerly, the whole infrastructure there had been totally destroyed and razed to the ground, after all. The enemy had even gone quite as far as desecrating our sanctuaries and mosques. Today, too, though the conflict is over, several problems remain unsolved still. For example, Armenia is refusing to give us maps of the minefields it had planted in the lands which it had been holding in captivity for thirty years and which we freed in the Patriotic War. That refusal is a war crime that Armenia is committing right now. This is how they are trying to keep our internally displaced people from returning to their homes; Armenia is resorting to provocations in connexion with the delimitation of the borders, too. Madame Speaker mentioned also the gross violation by Armenia of the 10 November 2020 trilateral statement: Armenia continues sending terrorist squads over to the liberated lands and then tries to make the diversionists apprehended in the Azerbaijani areas after the signing of that statement as ‘prisoners of war’.
The friendship groups formed in the Azerbaijani and Pakistani parliaments are considered ones with the widest representation, according to Mrs Gafarova. Those groups keep up working collaboration, hold video meetings and support each other on various subjects. There are ample opportunities to make the most of all the formats of parliamentary diplomacy to further the progress of the relationship amongst our countries, Mrs Gafarova added.
She mentioned towards the conclusion of the conversation that Chairman of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Asad Qaiser had been decorated with the Medal of Honour of the Milli Majlis for the merits in the furtherance of the interparliamentary interaction and expansion of the interstate relations.
The parliamentary delegation of Azerbaijan were shown round the office building and the conference hall of the National Assembly of Pakistani so they could acquaint themselves with the arrangements present for the MNAs there. The Chair of the Milli Majlis was informed of the activities of the Pakistani Parliament in detail.
Whilst our parliamentary delegation were at the Pakistani Parliament, Chair of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova and Chairman of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser planted together a tree symbolising our countries’ friendship and brotherhood in the garden of the National Assembly.