Federal Minister for Railways Sh Rashid Ahmed said on Monday Pakistan and Azerbaijan were enjoying exemplary relations which will grow further in trade, tourism, energy, health and education.
He was addressing as chief guest a reception hosted by Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ali Alizade marking 100th anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations of his country.
A large number of guests including parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society and religious scholars attended the reception.
A cake was also cut on the occasion marking 100th anniversary of diplomatic service of Azerbaijan
Sh Rashid in his brief address also hoped direct flights between Baku and Islamabad to facilitate more tourists exchange from the two countries. He said like in the past, Pakistan would continue its wholehearted support to Azerbaijan on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Ali Alizade briefed the guests about the 100th anniversary of Azerbaijan diplomatic service, saying some 101 years ago, for the first time, on May 28, 1918 a democratic republic was established in the Muslim East in Azerbaijan.
It was a great achievement of the Azerbaijani people and its sovereign territory was 114,000 square kilometers.
The ambassador told that not only a sovereign territory but the national tricolor flag and anthem were also adopted besides the national Azerbaijani currency-the manat.
It was then Azerbaijani language was declared the official language and state institutions, parliament, armed forces of Azerbaijan were created.
Soon, a year later, on July 9, 1919, Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established its first Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which marks this year its centenary – 100th Anniversary of its historical creation. Diplomatic missions of 16 states functioned in Baku and several diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan were also operating in different countries of the world.
Then followed occupation of Baku by Soviet Union in 1920 putting an end to independence of Azerbaijan and its diplomatic service, said the ambassador.
That period lasted till dismemberment of Soviet Union in 1991 and Azerbaijan then regained its independence.
Today, said Ambassador Ali Alizade, Azerbaijan under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev is one of the rapidly developing countries of the world and continues its dynamic progress.
Over the past 15 years, Azerbaijan’s economy has grown by 300pc.
Poverty and unemployment have been sharply diminished, with measures of both now standing under 5pc. About Pak-Azerbaijan relations he said both countries enjoy strong friendship and strategic partnership that reflects the will of our fraternal nations as well andboth countries attach great importance to its relations with each other. The relations between our two brotherly states accelerated and now demonstrate a rare example of solidarity.
He thanked Pakistani Government and people for continued cooperation, support and interest to further expand and strengthen our relations and jointly celebrate Azerbaijan National Day and 100th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Diplomacy in Pakistan once again prove it. Later, the guests were served with traditional Azerbaijani food.