(By Dr Shahid Qureshi from Baku – Azerbaijan) : –
“If you don’t put sugar in your tea and no matter how many times you stir it will never be sweet and that is your position with the issue of Nagorno Karabakh which is occupied by the Armenian”: I said to the Hikmat Hajiyev the spokesman of the Government of Azerbaijan at the foreign ministry.
I told him that: “UN has become is a useless body for Muslim countries especially and has completely failed to protect the member states and rights of the people. Having said that: UN is too quick to resolve East Timor and South Sudan just because they are Christian dominated areas and it suits the security council where not a single Muslim country permanent member with Veto Powers who could represent over 1.5 billion Muslims of over 55 countries. The issue of Kashmir and Palestine is the long standing with UN resolutions since 1948”.
In 1993 April and November the UN Security Council have passed four resolution numbers: 822, 853, 874 and 884 demanding immediate withdrawal of all occupying Armenian forces from Azerbaijan. Due to the full support of the Russian Federation all UNSC resolutions were ignored by Armenia.
Azeris are very peaceful people over all but during the conference arranged by youth organisation Ireli Ictimai Birliyi and chaired by dynamic young leader MirHasan Seyidov some indigenous people from occupied territories seems frustrated and angry said: “they can take their areas back swiftly from Armenia”. They are forcibly displaced by the Armenians and have become refugees within Azerbaijan. If this issue not addressed there might be a movement for the liberation of Nagorno Karabakh. According to the UN charter “people occupied by foreign forces have right to ‘resist and start armed liberation’ until the occupying forces leave their area”. That is true for Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Orkhan Ismayilov wrote on 20th August in The London Post: Nagorno-Karabakh: Can we resolve the conflict?
“For nearly 30 years Armenia and Azerbaijan relations have been dogged by the failure to resolve the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is under the control of Armenia inhabited by many people of Azerbaijani descent and part of Azerbaijan but attacked and annexed by Armenian authorities. The crisis began on February 20 1988 when representatives of the Armenian community of NKAO (Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast) at the session of the Soviet of People’s Deputies, adopted a decision to send a petition to the Supreme Soviets of the Azerbaijan SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic) and the Armenian SSR for the transfer of the NKAO from the Azerbaijan SSR to the Armenian SSR. During an otherwise peaceful demonstration against this decision two Azerbaijani youths were killed becoming the first victims of the conflict.
From 1988-1989 Azerbaijanis were forced to leave Armenia. In the course of mass deportation at least 216 Azerbaijanis were killed and 1,154 people were wounded. The refugees from Armenia — eventually numbering approximately 200,000 people — began to arrive in Azerbaijan. At that time, the Supreme Soviet of the Armenia SSR adopted a resolution on the re-unification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno-Karabakh without the consent of the Azerbaijan SSR. This was against the Constitution of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and on 10 January 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in Moscow adopted the Resolution confirming the illegality of the unification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorno-Karabakh without the consent of the Azerbaijan SSR. This was ignored by Armenia.
The collapse of the USSR in 1991 and political instability in Azerbaijan and in Armenia encouraged the Armenians to attack Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh, in the city of Khojaly in 1992. Known as the Khojaly genocide, thousands of Azerbaijani residents were killed or captured and Khojaly City itself was destroyed. In his book Black Garden, (2003) British journalist Thomas de Waal published an interview with the President of Armenia and an Armenian field commander commenting on the destruction of Kholjaly. The former field commander said: “Before Khojaly, Azerbaijanis thought they could play tricks with us. They thought Armenians would never touch civilians. We were able to break that myth”1
In 1993, the Armenian armed forces occupied six districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in the occupation of almost one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory.
Officially, Yerevan denies any direct involvement by Armenia in the conflict. However, there is considerable evidence confirming participation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in hostile actions against Azerbaijan. To mention just one documented fact, during the battle operations in the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan, there were combat maps with battle-orders addressed to the commander of the separate motor-rifle regiment № 555 and to the head of the operational group, signed by the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.
In spite of a ceasefire declared in 1994, the ceasefire has been violated several times by the Armenians. What do international organisations and the international community think about this “frozen” conflict? Why has this injustice to Azerbaijan`s people and its territorial integrity been allowed to continue for more than twenty years?”.
I mentioned at press briefing at the Foreign Ministry that: ‘if nothing is working for now they can however take this matter to the international Criminal Court (ICC), International Court of Justice, and the European Court, and if rules needs changing with regards to jurisdiction of the ICC they must. We cannot obviously expect the perpetrators of crimes in this case Armenia to accept the responsibility of their actions. Hence rule must be changed to make ICC a viable and effective body.
The Prime Minister and military and civil officials of Armenia must be put on trial for war crimes and atrocities committed in International court of Justice. If that is not possible than:
(a) Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court must take “Suo motto” and order open trial of those responsible for genocide in Nakgorno Karabakh.
(b) The Supreme Court has a jurisdiction as crimes have been commented on Azerbaijan soil.
(C) The Supreme Court order Government of Azerbaijan to issue Red Warrants to the Interpol for the arrests of the Armenian leaders involved in the war crimes and genocide of the people of Azerbaijan.
This issue has become a ‘ping pong’ game and talk shop for the international players who could resolve it in one day. Arms dealers from various countries have been able to sell arms and equipment to Azerbaijan. On the other hand officials told me that Russian forces are supporting the Armenian army and there are daily exchange of fires causing injuries and deaths hence it is a ‘Live Conflict’.
I said in a live program “The Debate” on 27 October 2015 on Press TV that: If Russians really want to have goodwill in Muslim countries they must help resolve Nagorno Karabakh and Kashmir issues. See link of the program.
Finally I must say thanks to the young organisers of the conference from “Ireli Ictimai Birliyi” especially MirHasan Seyidov, Orkhan Hafizoglu, Anar Gurbanov , Mahbuba Firuz and all others who contributed to this conference.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is PhD and also studied Law at a British University)