"Pakistan morally and politically supports Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia"
    Caliber.Az interview with Prof. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal

    INTERVIEWS  15 May 2023 - 12:19

    Caliber.Az had an interview with Pakistani analyst Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Professor and Director of the School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

    - Mr. Jaspal, how do you assess the current stage of Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations? Are we just friends, partners, or allies?

    - Pakistan and Azerbaijan's relationship has advanced from an episodic friendship to a partnership. Within the framework of the Azerbaijan-Pakistan Joint Intergovernmental Commission, Pakistani and Azerbaijani officials from the ministries of defence, communications and high technology, foreign affairs, economy, culture and tourism, agriculture, education, etc. regularly discuss issues related to specific aspects of bilateral ties.

    - Azerbaijan is grateful to Pakistan for its determined stance on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. What does the Pakistani community know about this dispute?

    - Pakistani community has limited knowledge about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Although Pakistan strongly demonstrated its moral and political support to Azerbaijan and adopted resolutions and issued favoring statements over the former Karabakh conflict, as well as the Patriotic War in 2020, which resulted in the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from the Armenian occupation. Notably, Excellency Khazar Farhadov, the current Azerbaijan Ambassador in Pakistan, Col. Mehman Novruzlu, Azerbaijan Defence Attaché in Islamabad has been struggling to educate the people of Pakistan about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and Pakistan’s generous politico-diplomatic support through conferences, interviews, lectures etc. I am confident this exercise of the Azerbaijani diplomats creates immense awareness about the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and cordial relations between Baku and Islamabad.

    - What is the probability of forming the trilateral alliance between Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and Pakistan?

    - Azerbaijan, Türkiye, and Pakistan are members of various multilateral economic forms, named the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). But they are not contemplating constituting a trilateral alliance. Moreover, Türkiye is an important member of NATO. Notably, the alliance needs military cooperation against a common enemy. Though Türkiye and Pakistan support Azerbaijan in its war with Armenia, they are not finding a reason to become military allies through a formal treaty.

    - How does the Russia-Ukraine war affect Pakistan? What is Islamabad’s position in this matter?

    - Pakistan has been economically affected due to the Russia-Ukraine war. It is interested to maintain its bilateral cordial relations with both states; therefore, it supports the dialogue process to resolve the conflict. Moreover, it abstains from Western nations-sponsored resolutions at the United Nations condemning Russian military operations in Ukraine.

    - Regarding the issue around the ex-PM Imran Khan, why did militants protest against him?

    - The militants did not protest against him. Imran's government started negotiations with TTP (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan - Ed.), which failed. His opponents have accused Imran Khan of being "Taliban Khan".

    - Will the confrontation around Imran Khan lead to civilian war in Pakistan?

    - The confrontation around Imran Khan increased the polarisation in domestic politics. The probability of civil war seems very limited in the country.

    - It’s known that Imran Khan wanted to cooperate with Türkiye, Russia, and China. Might Washington be against this idea?

    - Washington is uncomfortable with cementing a partnership between China and Pakistan and also Pakistan's Russia policy. Notably, Imran Khan's removal from the Prime Minister's office through a vote of confidence in April 2022, has not changed Pakistan's policies towards Türkiye, China, and Russia. The incumbent government is engaged and advancing relations with China, Russia, and Türkiye.

    - What can be the consequences of rivalry between China and the US?

    - The rivalry between China and US has rebooted Cold War-ish geostrategic competition in global politics, which has rejuvenated alliances politics. These developments resulted in the India-US threshold-alliance formation. Precisely, the rivalry between China and the US obstructs the economic prosperity of the developing nations in Asia. Besides, poses a serious challenge to Pakistan's balancing strategy in its relations with the Great powers. Islamabad has announced to avoid bloc politics, which seems in a quagmire due to increasing strategic rivalry between China and the United States.


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