By Amina Nazarli
There are leaders who remain in history, but there are leaders who create history.
Heydar Aliyev was the very leader who created the modern history of Azerbaijan, becoming a true legend of his time. The history remembers him as a unique leader, a powerful head of state, a selfless man, and a legendary figure able to take on his shoulders a difficult historical task of state building.
His invaluable achievements enabled the young state to stand on feet and to enter into the 21st century as an independent country.
A 35-year history of Azerbaijan, covering the period from the late 1960s to the beginning of the 21st century is associated with the name of Heydar Aliyev.
Heydar Aliyev came to state power on July 14, 1969 as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan under the USSR.
During the years on power he assumed the responsibility for Azerbaijan, together with the people he overcame the heavy and severe obstacles, and established a strong independent republic that we call modern Azerbaijan now.
At that time, he completely renewed and upgraded the oil industry, commissioned a number of plants and factories, including high-tech alumina production, hydroelectric power station, textile mill and production of household air conditioners.
"Modernization" can be the most accurate word to describe his activity. Coming to state power in Azerbaijan during the Soviet period he commissioned a process of deep modernization in Azerbaijan, which long used to act as a provincial raw outskirt of the Soviet empire.
Heydar Aliyev’s philosophy of Azerbaijanism, after gaining independence, determined the place of Azerbaijan in the modern world, provided a strong basis for the solidarity of the world Azerbaijanis as an ideological ground to the national statehood.
"We all should unite around this idea," Aliyev said. "Azerbaijanism means preserving national identity, national and spiritual values, and at the same time embelishing them with universal values, as well as ensuring the development of each person.”
Along with efficient and purposeful activities in all spheres of life, Heydar Aliyev attached great importance to upgrading education in the country. Education and upbringing of the younger generation were always the key milestone in state program of the farsighted leader.
Over 10 years of presidency Heydar Aliyev carried out radical reforms in the country, leaving a viable state for the nation, constructed from almost devastated country.
Heydar Aliyev’s multi-vector policy became a state strategy, which brought prosperity and stability to the country. He came to power with a pragmatic and balanced foreign policy, which meant constructive relations with powers like the U.S., EU and Turkey, as well as wise partnerships with actors like Russia and Iran.
Besides achieving a political stability in Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev laid the foundations for the economic independence of the country. He developed an anti-crisis program for the recovery of production, as well as improvement of the financial situation, and attraction of foreign investment.
"Contract of the Century" signed with the Western oil companies in Baku on September 20, 1994 was of vital importance for Azerbaijan and played a crucial role in the establishment of internal stability in the country, and achievement of success in foreign policy.
Heydar Aliyev, who spearheaded the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project, did much to attract huge western capital to Azerbaijan, what created many new jobs and lead to the development of several fields. Foreign capitals immediately earned on the economic growth of Azerbaijan, which today is recognized as the highest in the former Soviet space.
Moreover, Heydar Aliyev initiated the development of a new Constitution, which was adopted in 1995. "We need to develop and adopt a constitution, so that it would become a historical document, the Basic Law, providing for a long period of stable existence of Azerbaijan on the basis of democratic principles," Aliyev said.
Activity of the great leader Heydar Aliyev has been included in the treasury of political art, his name has become a symbol of the Azerbaijani people, and the way of life he passed became a symbol in criterion of love and devotion to his native land.
The people of Azerbaijan is proud of their great son, who devoted all his life to faithfully serving the people and motherland in the most difficult period of history. The bright memory of Heydar Aliyev, the national leader of the Azerbaijani people, wise leader and genius personality lives in the hearts of millions.
December 12 sees the 13th death anniversary of Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev.