Pakistan on Saturday dismissed as “baseless and unjustified” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s claim that Pakistani special forces are fighting alongside the Azerbaijani army in the conflict between the two countries in the disputed Upper Upper Karabakh.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry (FO) called on the leadership of Armenia to end its “irresponsible propaganda” and reiterated its support for Azerbaijan’s right to self-defense.
The Armenian leader, in an interview with Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya on Thursday, said Pakistani forces, alongside Turkish troops, were involved in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
He was asked if his country had evidence of the claim that “foreign mercenaries and terrorists” were fighting on the Azerbaijani side.
“There are reports that Pakistani army special forces are also involved in the hostilities,” Pashinyan said in his response, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the Armenian prime minister’s office.
Reacting to his statement, the PO said Pakistan “categorically rejects[s] these unfounded and unjustified comments “by Pashinyan who referred to” certain unsubstantiated reports “.
The press release noted that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also clarified his position on the matter, saying that Azerbaijani forces were “strong enough to defend their homeland” and did not need the help of foreign forces.
“It is unfortunate that [the] The leadership of Armenia, to cover up its illegal actions against Azerbaijan, is resorting to irresponsible propaganda, which it must stop, ”the OP said.
He said Pakistan has consistently given diplomatic, moral and political support to Azerbaijan and “will continue to support the brother nation of Azerbaijan and uphold its right to self-defense against any aggression.”
“We believe that long-term peace and normalization of relations between the two sides will depend on the full and comprehensive implementation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijani territories,” he said. the press release.
Earlier this month, the FO spokesperson dismissed “speculative and baseless” media reports that the Pakistani military was fighting alongside Azerbaijani forces against Armenia.
His statement followed a report by TimesNowIndia and a few other media claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan had sent troops to the disputed territory to fight alongside the Turkish army and the Azerbaijani army in Agdam.
Conflict of several decades
The decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resumed on September 27 and has so far killed more than 700 people, including nearly 80 civilians.
The mountainous region of western Azerbaijan has remained under Armenian separatist control since a 1994 ceasefire ended a brutal war that left 30,000 dead.
Armenia, which supports Nagorno-Karabakh but does not recognize its independence, admitted that Azerbaijani forces made significant progress on the front last week.
A missile strike razed a row of houses in Azerbaijan’s second city, Ganja on Saturday, killing 12 and injuring more than 40 in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the conflict.
The morning attack, which saw a second missile hitting another part of Ganja and a third reaching the nearby strategic town of Mingecevir, came hours after Azerbaijani forces shelled the capital of the Armenian separatist region, Stepanakert.
The apparent “tit-for-tat” attacks further undermine international efforts to calm the resurgence of fighting between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijanis before it attracts regional powers, Russia and Turkey.
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