Azerbaijan embassy hosts reception to celebrate 105th anniversary of Independence Day

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Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are on an upward trajectory and strengthening with the passage of time. Federal Minister for Education Rana Tanveer Hussain expressed these views while addressing as Chief Guest a reception marking the 105th anniversary of Independence Day of Azerbaijan (May 28, 1918). The Embassy of Azerbaijan had organized the event that showcased the rich colours, culture and cuisine of Azerbaijan.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Zahid Akram Durrani was the guest of honour on the occasion.

A large number of parliamentarians, diplomats, officials of the Foreign Office and the armed forces of Pakistan and members of media and civil society had turned up to congratulate Mrs Tarana Farhadov and Ambassador Khazar Farhadov on the auspicious occasion.

The year 2023 has assumed all the more importance for the people of Azerbaijan as it also marks the 100th birth anniversary of the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (1923-2003).

The guests also congratulated Deputy Head of Mission, Tamerlan Khalilov and Defence Attache Col Mehman Novruzov and their spouses and wished the people of Azerbaijan joys and success.

Federal Minister Tanveer Hussain emphasized the role and contributions of the National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev who worked hard not only for the uplift of his nation but also for establishment of mutually respected relations with regional countries. The chief guest called the National Leader of Azerbaijan architect of Pakistan-Azerbaijan relations and held that since then the bilateral relations between the two countries were multi-faceted and expanding with more dynamism in a mutually beneficial way.

He also commended Azerbaijan’s ‘active role in the implementation of the North-South and the East-West corridors including the creation of Trans-Caspian International Route and the Opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway communication system, he noted.

According to Rana Tanveer Hussain, Azerbaijan is the initiator of major energy projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline and the Southern Gas Corridor. On behalf of the government and people of Pakistan I convey warm regards and congratulations to President Ilham Aliyev on this historical occasion, he concluded.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Ambassador Khazar Farhadov while thanking the guests, gave a historical perspective of Independence Day. May 28 he said was celebrated as the Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan every year. “The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was the first democratic secular republic in the Muslim East and was established on May 28, 1918,” said the ambassador.

About the newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, he said it fulfilled the difficult historical task it undertook. According to the Azeri ambassador, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic existed for only 23 months till the Bolshevik’s occupation on April 28, 1920.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the people of Azerbaijan established an independent Republic of Azerbaijan based on the traditions of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, he said.

Today, Azerbaijan continues this successful tradition under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, who has inherited it from his father and the National Leader Heydar Aliyev.

The ambassador particularly mentioned the Patriotic War of 2020 during which the Azerbaijani Army liberated its territories from Armenian occupation within 44 days. Right after the liberation, the Government of Azerbaijan started large-scale restoration and reconstruction works there and the Great Return of former Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to their land has begun, he said.

About Azerbaijan’s relations with Pakistan, he said Azerbaijan and Pakistan are bound by the relations of strong friendship, brotherhood, and strategic partnership based on historical and cultural roots. The two countries have always supported each other both bilaterally and within international organizations.

Pakistan he said was one of the countries that was included in the online ASAN visa system of Azerbaijan. The citizens of Pakistan can easily obtain a visa online within 3 hours and visit Azerbaijan. This direct connectivity brings people from all circles of the two countries closer. In 2022, the Government of Azerbaijan exempted the Pakistani rice from import customs duty. It is not a coincidence that trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan has almost tripled last year and this year we are expecting more. A cake was also cut on the occasion to celebrate the Independence Day and national anthems of the two countries were also sung.