Azerbaijan faces an uphill task of rehabilitation in liberated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh: Envoy
People as well as the government of Azerbaijan will continue to remember sacrifices of its citizens, mostly civilians, martyred, injured and ‘missed’ in the Khojaly massacre by the Armenian forces.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov expressed these views while addressing a seminar held in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Khojaly genocide on Thursday.
Embassy of Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Muslim Institute had organized the event.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Dewan of Junagadh State and Chairman of the Muslim Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali, Ambassador of Turkey Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul and Vice Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University Prof Dr Muhammad Ali addressed the seminar and expressed solidarity with the people of Azerbaijan in remembering their martyrs.
Khojaly genocide, said Ambassador Khazar, is the bloodiest page in the history of Azerbaijan, as the occupying Armenian forces thirty years ago killed 613 innocent civilians (106 women, 83 children) in that small town of Nagorno-Karabakh.
In the action, besides deaths, 476 Azeri people were permanently disabled while 150 went ‘missing,’ he said. Last year, the valiant Azerbaijan forces liberated the occupied territory, said Ambassador Farhadov adding this was the first year of independence in the liberated districts of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Speaking on the occasion, Syead Fakhar Imam said he felt for the victims, the martyrs and the injured both, of the Khojaly Massacre. Armenian forces did exactly what a Draconian regime does to suppress the dissent, i.e. used tools of tyranny, torture, rape and abduction, said Fakhar Imam and drew a parallel with the occupying Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir.
Omar Ayub Khan also paid rich tributes and eulogized martyrs of Khojaly and said today we are witnessing a similar situation in Kashmir and Palestine where the occupying forces used oppressive methods to suppress the people.
For a state, he said, three variables namely strong economy, strong defence and national cohesion act as underpinning of the territorial integrity of a country and no external force can dare attack or challenge its sovereignty.
Ambassador of Turkey Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul said though Khojaly was a bitter, sad part of the Azerbaijan history, yet the ray of hope was that the occupied territories were free and a mega project of reconstruction and rehabilitation was underway. Like Pakistan, Turkey also stands by the people of Azerbaijan and supported their just cause, he said.
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali said the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh was one of the most contentious issues of the 20th century.
In February 1992, Armenian forces reportedly seized the Azeri-populated town of Khojaly and massacred 613 civilians including 106 women and 83 children.