Exclusive interview with the Pakistani Senator, Ex Interior Minister (2008-2013) Rehman Malik for defence.az.
By Seymur Mammadov
- Mr. Malik, how would you evaluate the results of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in 2017?
- Friendship and relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan are ideal, brotherly and very friendly, as Pakistan highly values its relationship with brotherly Azerbaijan. Both Pakistan and Azerbaijan share many common values of high importance. Leadership on both sides is committed to further enhance economic, cultural and diplomatic ties between our countries. The people of Pakistan treat the people of Azerbaijan as their brothers and sisters. I appreciate and value the feelings of President and other leadership of Azerbaijan in favour of Pakistan and also for their diplomatic support to Pakistan at international level. Long live friendship between both countries.
- How do you imagine the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
- The Karabakh conflict should be settled soon and peacefully and I fully support the resolutions by the UN Security Council and demand Armenians to hand over Karabakh to Azerbaijan as it belongs to Azerbaijan. Pakistan has always supported Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno- Karabakh conflict as the Azeri land should be completely returned to Azerbaijan. I demand United Nations that the Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh and Kashmir are implemented and the disputes resolved as early as possible. I am astonished and question United Nations why these two issues are being ignored continuously creating an impression that UN perhaps is sub-servant to world powers and is always inclined towards disputes where there is interest of world powers. Justice to Azerbaijan should not be delayed and denied.
- Pakistan was recently engulfed in protests, which led to heavy injuries for both sides as police and protestors collided. Have you managed to fully stabilize the situation in the country?
- The right of taking out peaceful protests and demonstrations are a part of democracy if they are not violent. The political situation will continue heating up in Pakistan as General Elections are approaching in the upcoming months. However, the extremists will try to take advantage of polarized political situation.
- Pakistan constantly suffers from terrorism. Only recently an attack at the university in Peshawar claimed 9 lives and injured at least 36. Which forces stand behind these terrorist attacks in Pakistan?
- There is no doubt that Pakistan is currently facing multiple challenges and threats both from its Eastern and Western borders, and unfortunately both neighbouring countries are trying to deteriorate situation in Pakistan. Terrorists are coming in Pakistan from Afghanistan where most wanted and chief of terrorists Mullah Fazal Ullah and others are hidden. Most of the recent terrorist attacks are claimed by ISIS. Terrorism in the region will continue until the presence of American and NATO Forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan believes peaceful Afghanistan is in favour of Pakistan as “Safe Afghanistan” is “Safe Pakistan”. Pakistan has always tried towards peaceful Afghanistan.
- The cooling in the dialogue between Pakistan and the USA has allowed China to take their niche, having significantly strengthened its influence in the Central Asia. Why did the relations between Washington and Islamabad deteriorate so rapidly?
-The relations between Pakistan and US are not great and ideal. The deterioration in the relations between US and Pakistan is because of US’ regional geo-military policy and US shows preference to India over Pakistan which is not only impossible but also unacceptable. Being an ally in the war, Pakistan’ sacrifices in War on Terror are more than any country of the world as so far it has rendered the sacrifices of more than 75000 troops and civilians with a numerous devastation to its economy and infrastructure. Sadly, yet Pakistan is not being treated as the worst victim of terrorism.