Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations: talking with Dr Mehmood ul Hassan Khan on recent military coop between two brotherly countries
Pakistan is one of the countries that has recognized Azerbaijan as an independent country since December 12, 1991. Azerbaijan observed majority of this 30-year-cooperation and friendship between the two countries during the Second Karabakh war. Like Turkiye, they also gave their military support to Azerbaijan and showed perseverance in liberating our lands that were under occupation for 30 years. The people of Pakistan also do not forget the good. If we look at history, we can say that Azerbaijan-Pakistan friendship started at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century while a deadly disease began to spread in Pakistan at that time. At such a moment, Azerbaijani philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Tagiyev supported the country. Despite the passage of years, the people of Pakistan always remember this history – the history of friendship and brotherhood.
Nevertheless, this friendship existing between the two countries was further strengthened in January 2021 with the signing of an agreement by the foreign ministers of the country in a trilateral (Azerbaijan-Turkiye-Pakistan) format.
Currently, high-ranking officers of both countries are in the capital Islamabad for the purpose of strengthening and developing those relations.
It should be noted that the Deputy Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan - Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijan Army, Colonel General Karim Valiyev, who visited Pakistan these days, met with his counterpart General Syed Asim Munir in Pakistan and held talks on the expansion of military exercises.
Commenting on the following issue to Azernews, Pakistani political analyst Dr. Mehmud ul Hassan Khan spoke about the importance of the meeting of the heads of the Pakistani army with Azerbaijan and emphasized that there are wide opportunities in the meeting between the Defense Chiefs of the General Staff of the two countries.
“It seems that prospects are very high and opportunities are very huge and diversified in bilateral as well as trilateral military cooperation between brotherly country Azerbaijan and Pakistan and of course Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Türkiye. There has been momentum in bilateral high official meetings, bilateral visits and participation in defense expos and holding of joint and trilateral military exercises between and among the three strategic countries in the past which vividly reflects importance of increasing military ties because of rapidly changing geopolitical and geostrategic dimensions of South Caucasus and South Asia.
Moreover, constant and continued military aggression of Armenia and increasing military ties between Armenia and India has further urged that military cooperation must be sustainable and progressive between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.
In this regard, for the further strengthening of bilateral military relations with Pakistan and exploring mutual prospects of mutual manufacturing of military products a delegation led by First Deputy Minister of Defense Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijan Army, Colonel General Karim Valiyev visited the headquarters of the Global Industrial and Defence Solutions (GIDS) organization of Pakistan,” the expert emphasized.
Touching on the wide-range of opportunities in Pakistan Army’s military arsenal, the expert also introduced some new weapons and know-how technologies constituting backbone of the Islamic army in the east.
“It is indeed a vast field and keeping in view the rapidly changing global military sector, the armed forces of Pakistan is vigilant to take all possible measures to upgrade its forces. The following modern arms may be included and upgraded in the armed forces of Pakistan.
(a) Latest compatible Air-Defense System
(b) Anti-Ballistic Missile System
(c) Modern Rader System
(d) Modern unmanned system
(e) Induction of 5th generation fighter jet with the help of Türkiye
(f) Mini nuclear submarine technology
(g) stealth technology
(h) Laser technology
(i) Latest missile technology and manufacturing
These are and may also be included and operationalized in armed forces of Pakistan, standard heavy machine gun, Automatic grenade launcher, Rocket grenade launcher, Anti-tank rocket launcher, Command-detonated anti-personnel mine, Modernized and Upgraded version of Al Khalid & Al Zarrar, Multirole armoured personnel carrier and infantry fighting vehicle, Light tactical vehicle, Tank destroyers 550, KRL Fatah-1, 300mm MLR, the system can launch CALT built rocket having maximum range of 120 km locally produced by SUPARCO, 155mm truck mounted howitzer, Anti-tank guided missiles, NESCOM Barq, HQ-9P variant, Man-portable air-defense systems, Air defence anti-aircraft gun systems (Type 85), IBIS-150 Air surveillance radar, JY-27A 3-D long-range air surveillance & guidance radar, YLC-18A, Long-range, ground-based L-band 3D AESA low-level gap filler air search radar, Unmanned aerial vehicles, NESCOM Burraq, GIDS Shahpar, GIDS Uqab, JF-17 Thunder bloc III, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems aircraft etc,” Khan said.
Furthermore, the political analyst also discussed prospects of Azerbaijan-Pakistan military cooperation and its mutual benefits in future defense strategies of bothe countries.
“Pakistan and Azerbaijan are strategic allies and share common historic, cultural and religious values. The relationship between the two countries has covered economic, defence, political and diplomatic cooperation since Azerbaijan’s independence.
Given the recent meeting of the Defense Chiefs, I can say that Pakistan is ready to help Azerbaijan in terms of training, joint manufacturing, JF-17 Thunder Bloc-III fighter jet, missile technology, unmanned vehicles, tank manufacturing, joint exercises, radar, laser technologies etc. According to reliable defense sources, military cooperation between Pakistan and Azerbaijan has been further strengthened and diversified.
It is suggested that a joint cooperation in the production of armed Bayraktar TB2 drones, 5th generation fighter jet, joint production of cutting-edge military equipment, developing and manufacturing cutting-edge aerial devices should be initiated as soon as possible which would be mutually beneficial for all the countries in the days to come.
Doctor Mehmood ul Hassan Khan also stressed some important reasons making Azerbaijan and Pakistan so brotherly, as well as pointed support of his country to Azerbaijan during the Patriotic War.
“Pakistan has special historic, cultural, social, political and diplomatic relationships with Azerbaijan which may not be confined only to bilateral diplomatic domain. For centuries, the people of both countries have been visiting, interacting and carrying caravans of human values, ethnic diversity, education, commerce and above all mutual respect and trust. Moreover, because of its love, respect and compassion the government has not yet recognized Armenia because of its fascist history, present aggression and past illegal occupation of Karabakh and other regions of Azerbaijan.
During the glorious Patriotic War of Azerbaijan, the government of Pakistan, armed forces, media, intellectuals and common people showed unwavering support to government and people of Azerbaijan. We remained supportive to armed forces of Azerbaijan in its peaceful persuasions against Armenia. The statements of the chairman of Pakistan Senate, armed forces and government all showed love and respect for the just cause of Azerbaijan. Because we both share spirits of resilience, courage, bravery and of course military preparedness for good cause which would be further strengthened in terms of countering Armenia and India military cooperation in South Caucasus region.
Pakistani professor added that the cooperation between the two brotherly countries will not suffice in the field of military but in many spheres.
“I strongly believe that there are vast opportunities in the diverse field of economy, investment, joint ventures, special economic free zones, CPEC, oil & gas energy cooperation, agriculture cooperation (duties on rice has been removed by Azerbaijan government and therefore exports of rice from Pakistan is constantly on the rise), infrastructure development especially in the newly liberated areas of Karabakh, dairy cooperation, hybrid seeds, climate change cooperation, energy generation, health, education, tourism, banking and finance especially Islamic banking, formation of sustainable supply chains, Software, ICT, fertilizer, textile, pharmaceutical, sugar and surgical plants, SMEs, micro-financing, women empowerment and entrepreneurship, insurance companies and last but not least, science & technology between two brotherly countries,” the expert concluded.
Dr Mehmood ul Hassan Khan is the Executive Director of the Center of South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad
He is a Regional expert on Azerbaijan & South Caucasus
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