Top personalities of Pakistan including academia, media personalities, former ministers, law makers and other prominent citizens belonging to various walks of life have called for peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Pakistan Observer reported on Feb. 20.
Over hundred leading personalities of Pakistan have supported a statement, drafted by Mr. Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer.
They strongly condemned the 1992 Khojaly Genocide by the Armenian forces in which hundreds of innocent civilians were butchered, according to the statement.
Soon after collapse of the USSR Armenia started open aggression against newly born Azerbaijan Republic and occupied 20% of Azerbaijani lands, including Nagorno- Karabakh and 7 adjacent districts. The capture of Khojaly town was particularly tragic. The town with no regular Azerbaijani forces in it was entirely surrounded by Armenian troops.
Over the night from the 25th to 26th of February 1992, Armenian forces with support of infantry regiment of the former Soviet Army stormed Khojaly. In a few hours time 613 civilians, including 83 children and 106 women were killed.
In its judgment of 22 April 2010, the European Court of Human Rights qualified this massacre as "acts of particular gravity which may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity". It is obvious, that given the gravity and scale of the offences committed in Khojaly, criminal
prosecution of those who were behind it would be inevitable.
The UN Security Council passed 4 resolutions that called for immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of forces from all occupied lands of Azerbaijan. The UN General Assembly, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement, European Union, Council of Europe, NATO and OSCE also passed resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. All these resolutions remain unimplemented, according to the document.
People of Pakistan condemn continued illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia and call for a just and peaceful resolution of the problem on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions.
"We urge the international community to take notice of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and help in resolving it in the name of Peace," according to the document.
Those who have supported the statement include among others the personalities named below:
Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief, Pakistan Observer; Sabir Ali Baloch, Deputy Chairman Senate; Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Defense Committee, Leader of Pakistan Observers Delegation for Azerbaijan Presidential Elections; Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel, Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Chairman, National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Committee; Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Chairperson Library Committee; Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Chairman, Commerce Committee; Senator Tahir Hussain Mashadi and other representatives of the political and scientific elite of Pakistan.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the
liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.