by Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan
ARMENIA’S warmongering has once again destabilized socio-economic stability, geopolitical harmony and geostrategic sustainability of the South Caucasus and the EU alike. Even energy security is now at stake. Armenia’ perpetual lust for the blood of innocent local people living in various illegally occupied areas and adjacent to the border has once again blinded it to use brutal martial power against helpless people. Fierce fighting has raged which has rattled important capitals of the world especially the EU. The Armenian escalation of violence swift response from the EU, Russia, United Nations (UN), the United States (US), and other important countries calling for both leaders to cease hostilities immediately and enter the dialogue.
In this context, the role of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is not up to the mark and favoured the aggressor, Armenia which pounded Azerbaijan civilian settlements with rockets and artillery in the ferocious round of the frozen conflict since 1994. It has been notorious for provocations which it used for Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing and genocide. The fighting is now taking place along all sections of the front line. It has deployed helicopters, drones, tanks and artillery during the first three days of fighting. Armenia’s real fascist face has now come out of sugar-coated so-called democracy which has been eroded by imposing martial law in the country. So deity of democracy has been scrambled by the big brass. Now, champion of destruction ie Armenia is busy in attacking the caravans of development, dialogue and diplomacy. Being a prominent regional expert of Azerbaijan & CIS, I owe the world community to condemn Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan otherwise, it may further escalate.
It is a bitter reality that Armenia has been pursuing ethnic cleansing policy against Azerbaijan for centuries to illegally occupy its territorial areas. With the help of its masters, Armenia succeeded to occupy the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan during 1991-1993. Despite the declaration of a ceasefire between the two countries in 1994, Armenia has been continuing to provoke Azerbaijan. Over the years, Armenia has repeatedly violated the ceasefire, opened fire against Azerbaijani soldiers, civilians and claimed hundreds of lives. Armenian Prime Minister ordered full military mobilization whereas Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ordered partial military mobilization which shows Armenia’s obsession of military power and on the other hand upholds Azerbaijan peaceful resolve to counter the enemy attack with the appropriate response with befitting tactical operations.
Armenia once again violated the truce and suddenly attacked on the border areas of Azerbaijan causing civilian and military casualties. The Republic of Azerbaijan launched counteroffensive operation and succeeded to destroy its various military installations, missile batteries, anti-missile system S-300, along with capturing of tactical military points and fortunately, liberating various villages and strategic mountains of illegally occupied Nagorno-Karabakh which even has verified and confirmed by independent regional as well as international media outlets and security experts. According to its ministry of defence, Azerbaijani troops have neutralized at least 2,300 Armenian soldiers since Sunday. It also said some 130 tanks and armoured vehicles, more than 200 artillery and missile systems, around 25 air defence systems, six command and observation areas, five ammunition depots, almost 50 anti-tank guns and 55 cars were destroyed between 27-30 Sept.
Armenia has been secretly planned to attack various border areas of Azerbaijan by settling international terrorist groups from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in Nagorno-Karabakh which is against the international law. Armenia encouraged global franchises of international terrorist groups in various illegally occupied areas belonging to Azerbaijan. Geographically, Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region consisting/covering around 4,400 square kilometres situated 50 kilometres from the Armenian border. Over time, local soldiers supported by Armenia also occupy some Azerbaijani territory outside the region. So, illegal annexation process is still on by Armenians.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on both the countries to immediately halt hostilities over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh after at least 65 people were killed in the deadliest outbreak of fighting in years. He stressed the need for resumption of talks and the redeployment of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to the region. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council tried to hold emergency to discuss the fighting following a request from Germany and France. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel called both the leaders and asked for an immediate truce. The fighting has now threatened to draw in regional powers Russia and Turkey which would be fatal for the entire region.
Unfortunately, Nagorno-Karabakh has been in the line of fire due to Armenia’s military violations. But this time the unresolved conflict in the volatile South Caucasus Region (SCR) erupted into the deadliest bouts of fighting since April 2016. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded Armenia to put an end to its occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh after deadly clashes started along the border of Azerbaijan. He termed de-occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other seven regions would bring greater peace and harmony in the region. On its part, Russian is continuously observing the ongoing war and urged to stop the hostilities.
Armenian Defence Ministry is now intentionally disseminating false news about hitting of Turkish F-16 by its air force. It also claimed that its country faced a full-scale attack from Azerbaijan and Turkish militaries. Azerbaijan and Turkey denied the allegations. Both Ankara and Baku called Yerevan’s claim about the warplane’s downing on September 29 absolutely untrue. Ironically, Zee News India also claimed the presence of Pakistani troops in Azerbaijan to fight against Armenia which has been denied by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan. Pakistan being a strategic partner of Azerbaijan has shown solidarity with the government and people of Azerbaijan by strongly condemning Armenian attack on its civilian and military installations. Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova telephoned the Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani and both leaders discussed important issues and the regional situation in the backdrop of latest tension.
During the telephonic conversation, the Senate Chairman blamed Armenia for recent tensions which and termed it anti-humanity. He strongly condemned Armenia invasion which threatened peace in the region. He upheld that Pakistan supported Azerbaijan’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Being a prominent regional expert of Azerbaijan & CIS, I urge the international community and the UN to immediately intervene and stop Armenia from its martial madness and beast instincts which may create a serious regional threat to the SCR necessitating terrible spillover repercussions for peace and stability. Moreover, immediate withdrawal of Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven adjacent areas would be a great boost to regional peace and harmony.
Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan is Director, Geopolitics/Economics Member Board of Experts, CGSS.
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