Genocide in Khojaly was one of the darker and grim side of humanity and is shaking the human consciousness even after two decades of this dreadful event in one of the beautiful town of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. The humanity is still looking towards its fellow beings for justice and fairness in its approach towards dealing with those who have remained suffering in the hands of unjust and unlawful oppressor nations. Unless and until we would not do our part to stop these kinds of brutal acts then humanity would lose its trust and that would be more disastrous for us all. These were the views discussed by the diplomats, scholars, academicians and various representatives from all walks of life during a roundtable organized by Institute of Peace and Diplomacy and The Diplomatic Insight.
The occasion was graced by Ambassador of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Mustafa Evran. Other diplomats from various missions also graced the occasion with their presence.
Ms.Farhat Asif, Executive Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomacy briefed about Institute of Peace and Diplomacy (IPD) is an independent, non-governmental and not-for-profit think tank that aims to provide strength to global peace through dialogue and diplomacy by sharing knowledge, research, analysis and policy development in the areas of, peace-diplomacy, peace-building, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and conflict management and The Diplomatic Insight. She highlighted the importance of Roundtable and issue of Khojaly Genocide.
During the session, Mr. Ilham Mamedov, First Secretary, Azerbaijan Embassy, gave an overview of the incident highlighting its various aspects. He said that the act of genocide committed by Armenian aggressors in Khojaly town of Nagorno-Karabakh is the most tragic page of Azerbaijan’s modern history. He said that the Nagorno-Karabakh is not a disputed land and is an integral part of Azerbaijan which is recognized by entire world except Armenia. Various resolutions of condemnation and demand of withdrawal of Armenian forces were passed by UNSC, UN General Assembly, NATO, OSCE but all of them were simply ignored by Armenia. We, Azerbaijani people, wants the world to realize that recognition and commemoration and of victims of the genocide is an efficient way that will serve in securing the world from genocides and prevent them to happen again.
Ms. Sabah Aslam, Research Fellow, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, spoke about the incident at length. She said Human Rights Watch (HRW), described the event in Khojaly as “the largest massacre to date in the conflict.” While highlighting Pakistan’s standpoint on the issue, Ms. Aslam said that Pakistan has always been criticizing such massacres on international forums and also recognizes Khojaly as genocide. On February 1, 2012, Pakistan’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved a resolution condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and the genocide against Azerbaijani civilians committed by Armenian armed forces in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly on 26 February 1992.
Dr. Aftab Qazi, Senior Fellow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, spoke about the incident and linked it with current international scenario. Dr. Qazi provided historical facts about the event and explained various dimensions of biased approach of international community that also led to non settlement of the disputes including Nagorno-Karabakh. He opined that the border issues between the Central Asian and Caucasian states must be resolved as soon as possible as they would lead to further escalation and formation of new conflicts in the region.
H.E. Mr. Dashgin Shikarov, pay homage to people of Pakistan for supporting people of Azerbaijan in every thick and thin. The brotherly attitude and support done by Pakistan and people of Pakistan are now part of the syllabus and it is being taught in school and colleges of Azerbaijan. He said that the support that Pakistan has provided to Azerbaijan will never be forgotten and is now written with golden words in our history.
During the question and answer session, participants and diplomats were, later, involved in candid discussion.