30 Years of Khojaly Tragedy Shares.

by Muhammad Asif Noor

This February, the people of Azerbaijan remember and mourn the thirty years of the Khojaly massacre. This genocide is one of the most terrible and tragic pages of Azerbaijan’s national history. This ethnic cleansing and genocide by Armenian have caused immense pain for the past two centuries. The memories of Armenian aggression are still alive among the people as they cannot relieve the burden of grief. The people of Azerbaijan have been made refugees and IDPs due to the Armenian occupation. The Khojaly Genocide is recognized and commemorated by parliamentary acts adopted in numerous countries, including Pakistan.

Today, 17 countries across the world, in addition to 20 states of the US, recognized the Khojaly massacre as genocide, and it has been investigated under the moral and legal framework. The Armenian killing of innocent civilians was investigated under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide, but the criminal perpetrators remain unpunished. Although the Commission identified the genocide effects including killing, mental and bodily harm directed by genocidal intent to exterminate in part or whole of a specific group in a town of Khojaly. Human Rights Watch also published a report on the tragedy in 1994, terming it the ‘largest massacre to date in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In memory of the brave people of Khojaly, Azerbaijan has erected the memorials in Azerbaijan.

The historical data indicates that thousands of Muslims were killed in 1914-1918. In the 20th century, the Azerbaijani and Turkic population has been tortured and banished from their homes four times: The first stage was from 1905-to 1907, then the second was the time from1915-1920. The third stage was from 1948-to 1953, while the fourth stage was between 1986-1988. It should be remembered that the first genocide and mass extermination of the population occurred in March 1915 by Armenians. Guided by the UN Resolution of December 11, 1946, and the Agreement of December 9, 1948, it may convincingly be proved that the Armenian Dashnaks have committed crimes against humanity and conspired genocide against the Turkic population.

Azerbaijan did not mistreat Armenian people in the region and offered them Azeri citizenship if they chose to stay. Immediately after the ceasefire agreement. The President of Azerbaijan authorized the development in the war-torn region and developed a cultural capital in the city of Shusha with an airport. The President of Azerbaijan granted compensation for damage caused by war, treatment of injured, protection of religious places, educational institutions, and health care centers.

Azerbaijan did not forget the people of Khojaly and facilitated the migrants of the Karabakh region to settle at their ancestral places. Azerbaijan has remained thankful to the states which recognize its position in the conflict. Turkey and Pakistan are two significant states that acknowledge Karabakh as Azerbaijan territory and extend diplomatic support even during challenging times.

The writer is the Director Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies.


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