There has always been a cordial relationship between Azerbaijan and Pakistan because both share a common culture, history and traditions. Both countries share the same perception on global and regional matters and also have supported each other regarding different issues at the international forums. The entrenched affinities among the two have developed a strong bond of friendship. Pakistan is among the three countries that accepted the independence of Azerbaijan. The two countries established their diplomatic relationship in June 1992 and since then the relationship between the two had been smooth. Pakistan’s first embassy was opened in March 1993 in Baku and in August 1997, Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Pakistan. The cooperation between the two involved certain spheres and the range of which involves politics, economy, security and defence. Azerbaijan enjoys its relations with Pakistan as the relationship is expediting steadily. The cooperation among the two has been quite productive and many projects have also been signed. The projects involve working on the defence industry, security, humanitarian and social fields, education, science, energy and many others. This has been confirmed by the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Islamabad, Ali Alizada, on the National Day of the state.
The Ambassador further clarified that there are some visits expected in the yesteryear from both sides by the government and military personnel. He also mentioned the repercussions of COVID on the cooperation between the two states. COVID has halted many projects which had been successful if they got completed on time. During these hard times, both states extended their hands of cooperation to each other for a better future. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation of Azerbaijan has been doing the humanitarian social work in Pakistan during this pandemic. Not only has this but Azerbaijan has also extended the financial aid to Pakistan. This aid was given t prevent the spread of the virus and also to eliminate the repercussions of COVID-19 from Pakistan. Pakistan also acknowledged the efforts of Azerbaijan in fighting the novel virus. The president of Pakistan also attended an online summit with the motto ‘United against COVID-19’. This summit was a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement and the force which initiated it was the President of Azerbaijan. The Presidents of both nations acknowledged the significance of the online NAM summit to strengthen the efforts of fighting the pandemic. At a broader level, it will contribute significantly to consolidate solidarity and will also ensure international cooperation among the countries. The two presidents also ensured that they will reinforce each other’s stance on global platforms whenever needed.
Ali Alizada has mentioned that the two countries will support each other on the issues of Kashmir and Nagorno-Karabakh along with the lines of UN Security Council resolutions. He also said that this has been discussed in every meeting to reinforce the collaborations and cooperation beyond the regional level. The ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ hasn’t got any recognition from any international country as the world has reacted harshly to the illegally conducted elections there. Pakistan is also included among the states which support the stance of Azerbaijan and condemn Armenia’s illegal possession of areas of Azerbaijan. This 20% of the land area is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territories. The people from both sides respect and value this fair approach and brotherly decision for standing against what is morally and politically incorrect. In the education sector, Pakistan has offered many scholarships to the students is Azerbaijan in the IT field annually. There are a lot of Pakistani students studying in Baku but the majority is on a self-financed basis. There are minimal or no scholarships for Pakistani students in Azerbaijan. Cooperation in this sector should be strengthened.
Azerbaijan has always extended his hand for helping Pakistan in difficult times. It has supported Pakistan on the Kashmir conflict and became a part of the OIC contact group for Kashmir since 2012. In 2013, Azerbaijan gave $1 million to build a school in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir after the city got demolished in the earthquake of 2005. The fraternal friend also assisted with $1 million each when there were floods in Pakistan in 2010 and 2011. In the year 2015, there were small humanitarian projects which were carried out by Azerbaijan in different areas of Pakistan. Both sides have been acknowledging each other’s effort to strengthen the bilateral cooperation and support on global issues. The President of Pakistan was awarded the Honorary Doctorate Degree by the Baku state university in 2016. Not only have this but several Pakistan’s candidatures been supported by Azerbaijan for different global institutions and organizations. The two countries have also signed more than 30 bilateral agreements, MoUs and cooperation programs on the economic and trade front. Both also have an institutional arrangement of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) and since its inception in September 2000, it has held five sessions. Islamabad hosted the 6th meeting of the JMC on 26 and 27 April 2016.
Pakistan has been helped by Azerbaijan during the natural calamities. The humanitarian projects in Pakistan are regularly checked by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The foundation is under the patronage of the First lady of Azerbaijan. The aforementioned information is the evidence of the relationship between the two countries is quite warm and cordial. Both share so many commonalities and what is more important is that both stand strong in each other’s happiness and pain. There has been an upward trajectory in the relationship between the two states in terms of mutual agreements and bilateral cooperation. Pakistan needs energy and the two sides are in constant contact to increase their cooperation in this sector. Also, it is believed that the uprising trend in their cooperation would continue and both would help each other in forging more strong cooperation in every field. It seems like both Azerbaijan and Pakistan will maintain their high level of relationship in the coming years. There should be people to people connectivity and the exports of high-quality cotton, fruits, chemicals, fats and oil and non-ferrous metals should be increased. The friendship and brotherhood between the two people will in any case remain eternal.