ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has categorically rejected baseless comments by the Armenian Prime Minister alleging involvement of Pakistani special forces alongside Azerbaijani army in the ongoing conflict.
In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhari said President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan has also clarified his stance on the matter stating that Azerbaijani forces are strong enough to defend their homeland and do not need the help of foreign forces.
He said that it is regrettable that the leadership of Armenia, to cover up its illegal actions against Azerbaijan, is resorting to irresponsible propaganda, which it must stop.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan believes that long-term peace and normalization of relations between the two parties would depend on the complete and comprehensive implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions and withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijani territories.
The decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict re-erupted on September 27 and has so far killed more than 700 people, including nearly 80 civilians.
The mountainous western region of Azerbaijan has remained under separatist Armenian control since a 1994 ceasefire ended a brutal war that killed 30,000.
Armenia, which backs Nagorno-Karabakh but does not recognise its independence, has admitted that Azerbaijani forces have made important gains along the front in the past week.
On Saturday, a missile strike levelled a row of homes in Azerbaijan’s second city of Ganja, killing 12 and injuring more than 40 people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the conflict.
The early hours attack, which saw a second missile strike another part of Ganja and a third reach the nearby strategic city of Mingecevir, came hours after Azerbaijani forces shelled the ethnic Armenian separatist region’s capital Stepanakert.
The seeming tit-for-tat attacks further undermine international efforts to calm a resurgence of fighting between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijanis before it draws in regional powers Russia and Turkey.