Speech of Azerbaijan Defence Attaché at the “100th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Armed Forces” Reception Islamabad, Pakistan

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad; 21 June 2018

Air Chief Marshall Mujahid Anwar Khan – Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force, Excellencies, Generals, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalam-o-Aleikum and good evening.

It is immense pleasure and great honor for me to welcome you at the reception dedicated to the100th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.

The people of Azerbaijan have for centuries fought for liberty and statehood along its ancient history. Because of rich natural resources and strategic geopolitical position, our motherland has always undergone pressures and military aggressions by strong states. However, our people have protected its existence, heroically fought the strongest troops of enemies. Commanders and statesmen such as Javanshir, Babek, Shah Ismayil Khatai, Javad Khan and many more have created an entire chronicle of history of heroism of Azerbaijan.

Glorious life and actions of such heroes have strengthened love of people for the homeland, liberty and statehood, making it the most important goal of our life. Valuable traditions started by them, were successfully continued during centuries.

After collapse of the czarist Russia, the first democratic republic in the East – the People’s Republic of Azerbaijan was created in 1918. During its 23 months of existence, the Republic founded all attributes of independent state, including the national army. Fighting the occupant policy of Armenians and Bolsheviks, the government of Azerbaijan made a decision on creation of the military corps with the status of division on 26th June 1918, and thus cornerstone of the national army was laid.

Azerbaijan national army units with high-level military training and discipline were formed under the military leadership of outstanding generals, such as Semed bey Mehmandarov and Aliaga Shykhlinski.

Unfortunately, the national army units – one of the most important attributes of independence were abolished after occupation of Azerbaijan by Red Army on 28th April 1920.

Nevertheless, being part of Soviet Union, people of Azerbaijan continued to demonstrate its military spirit and traditions. Devoted to its rich military and historical traditions, the people of Azerbaijan showed real heroism in the WW2. Azerbaijan divisions traversed a glorious path of battle from Caucasus to Berlin.

During leadership of the national leader - Heydar Aliyev formation of army and training of national officers were on the agenda. In 1971, due to big efforts of Heydar Aliyev, secondary military education institute - the military lyceum named after prominent commander - Major General Jemshid Nakhchyvanski was established in Baku. At the time, Azerbaijan used to send about 60.000 youth to the Soviet Army, yearly. Therefore, opening of such military school in Baku had a huge significance.

Heydar Aliyev achieved admission of Azerbaijani youth to the Baku Army and Naval Academies, as well as other military academies in the former USSR on preferential terms. So, 20 years before gaining independence of Azerbaijan, national leader Heydar Aliyev provided high-level military training basis for the nation. After the independence was regained, these military education institutions were indeed main basis for the formation of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.

71 years later, Azerbaijan restored its state independence and all state attributes, including Armed Forces. On May 22, 1998, Heydar Aliyev issued a decree to declare June 26 as the Day of Azerbaijan Armed Forces.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

Unfortunately, before disintegration of Soviet Union, in 1988, Azerbaijan once again became victim of Armenian state terrorism.

In continuation of groundless territorial claims towards Azerbaijan and other neighboring countries, Armenia, with support of foreign troops and direct participation of international mercenaries and terrorist groups, had unleashed a full-scale military operation that had led to the occupation of the Nagorny Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan, during 1991-1993. 

In 1994, the Minsk Group, co-chaired by Russia, France and the U.S. was established, within the framework of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), aiming to play an arbitration role in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution. However, the co-chairs have done nothing serious to end the occupation. 

U.N. Security Council adopted 4 resolutions regarding Nagorno Karabakh conflict in 1993 that confirms the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories by Armenian armed forces. Those resolutions call for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, Armenia has not implemented any of these resolutions and neither has any member of the U.N. Security Council.

The National Leader of Azerbaijan Mr. Heydar Aliyev’s Army building policy has been successfully continued by current president H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev. Special attention is paid to the social protection and welfare of the Armed Forces personnel. Solid packages that include handsome wages, pensions, medical treatment, education and accommodation facilities made the military service attractive for youth.

Today, the Azerbaijan Armed Forces is the most powerful in the South Caucasus. The forces equipped with the best available in the world market arms, with well trained and iron disciplined motivated personnel, with a budget exceeding the total state budget of Armenia and ready to perform with no hesitation any order of its Supreme Commander in Chief - this is the picture of today’s Azerbaijan Armed Forces.  

On the night of April 2, 2016, Armenian Armed Forces escalated situation and all frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire of large-caliber weapons and mortars by Armenian Army. Azerbaijan Army was forces to retaliate and carry out counter attack which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements around Nagorno Karabakh. Armenian side lost more than 300 soldiers and over 500 wounded during 4 days battle. It became the most serious escalation in the zone of the Armenia – Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and culminated in the unconditional victory of Azerbaijan Army.

Thanks to the liberation of strategically important height of Lele Tepe in the southern part of LoC around Nagorno Karabakh, it became possible to restore the village of Jojug Marjanli of Jabrail District, which has been under occupation for last 25 years. The return of villagers to their native lands became a symbol of great return of Azerbaijanis to the territories liberated from Armenian occupation.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

Azerbaijan and Pakistan enjoy strategic partnership relations, covering all spheres of bilateral cooperation, including the military. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the cordial relations with Pakistan in all areas, including the military relations between our Armed Forces. Exchange of high-level visits of political and military leaders open new perspectives for the mutually beneficial military and military-technical cooperation between our brotherly countries.

At the end of my speech, I would like to thank Chief Guest of our reception – Air Chief Marshall Mujahid Anwar Khan – Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force for gracing our event, which we accept as a true reflection of brotherhood spirit between our countries.

Thank you.