The governments of Azerbaijan and Pakistan have decided to celebrate the thirty years of their bilateral cooperation this year by recalling the history of their multidimensional collaborations in different fields. Parallel to recalling the history of their cooperation, the leaders of both nations are mutually engaged in designing future plans for their cordial ties. The celebrations in both countries communicated to the international community the growing cooperation between Baku and Islamabad on various positive and productive lines. The persistently growing cooperation between Azeri and Pakistani nations results from various factors such as effective political coordination, active diplomatic support, efficient social connections, and progressive economic cooperation. The prevalence of these bilateral attributes in the broader framework of Baku-Islamabad’s multidimensional collaboration lets the governments of both states support each other in their regional and extra-regional affairs. During the last thirty years, the two-sided cooperative commitments of both governments have explored various other avenues of multileveled collaborations in diverse areas. Among all other factors, the humanitarian domain proved to be the foundational element in connecting Azeri and Pakistani nations with each other. The humanitarian connections between Baku and Islamabad initially started from human rights values in their respective regions. Islamabad’s opposition to the massive human rights violations of Armenia in the South Caucasus region and Baku’s support for Pakistan’s stance on the Indian human rights abuses in the South Asian region laid the initial foundations of Azerbaijan-Pakistan cooperation. It was the support of both states to each other on the issues of Nagorno-Karabagh and Kashmir. The persistent growth of bilateral cooperative communications between both states further discovered several other platforms of mutual engagement in the humanitarian sector. In this way, the greater design of cooperative bilateralism between Baku and Islamabad has reached its zenith with the support of societal cooperation. The two-sided formal representatives of governments always acknowledge and appreciate each other on different occasions. In the debate on Azerbaijan-Pakistan societal collaboration, it is essential to mention the role of the Azeri diplomatic community in Pakistan, which has different formats of humanitarian engagement in Pakistan. Thus, the existing level of Azerbaijan’s engagement in Pakistani society can be measured with the help of the following points.
Recently, the former ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan declared that his country is willing to provide 2 million dollars in financial assistance to Pakistan during natural disasters in the form of flood 2022. Ambassador Ali Alizada (presently serving in Iran as ambassador) said the aid package is designed under the instruction of President Ilham Aliyev, and it will help Pakistan in overcoming the dire consequences of floods. The aid package is analogous to the 2010 flood when the Pakistani nation suffered a lot due to the heavy floods. The mainstream state authorities from Baku always shared their intentions for increasing collaboration with Pakistan during challenging situations. A meeting of formal representatives of the Azerbaijani Minister of Emergency Situations and the Pakistani National Disaster Management Authority is accurate evidence in this regard. This meeting took place on the sidelines of the 7th International Conference on Disaster Risk Management in 2014, and the Azeri and Pakistani officials shared their vision of mutual trust and cooperation. Additionally, the role of state-level initiatives sponsored by the Azeri organization (Heydar Aliyev Foundation) under the leadership of the first lady of Azerbaijan, Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva. The first lady of the country is the first vice president of the country and the president of the Cultural Foundation of Azerbaijan. Based on her contribution and support to the global vision of peace, development, and prosperity, she has been recognized internationally as the Good Will Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO. The Pakistani media sources mentioned the first lady of Azerbaijan as the symbol of humanism. These media sources were validated when the government of Pakistan conferred the “Hilal-e-Pakistan” award to Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva in 2015. The award recalled the active role of Azerbaijan in Pakistan and the acknowledgment of the first lady’s services to Pakistan for the greater cause of humanity and social prosperity. Under her supervision, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation started active humanitarian functions in 2005 when the Pakistani nation was suffering due to the earthquake crisis. The organization provided greater assistance in the education sector for deserving people in the earthquake-affected areas of Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that a girls’ school was constructed in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, which was demolished during the earthquake. The government of Pakistan officially appreciated the efforts of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and named the school after the name of the first lady of Azerbaijan. Apart from the education sector, the Heydar Aliyev organization actively provides different financial packages to deserving people under the broader humanitarian aid. Based on an active and brief history of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s engagement in Pakistan, a long list of different projects can be maintained to comprehend the role of a humanitarian factor in shaping Pakistan-Azerbaijan cooperative ties. Apart from the education sector, the health and cultural connections also remained important parts of Pakistan-Azerbaijan relations.
The most appreciable feature of Baku-Islamabad bilateral cooperation is the absence of any critical development between both states. The social, political, and economic sectors of both states are witnessing various collaborations without having any serious points of disagreement. This factor shows that the contemporary celebrations of thirty years are intended to mark a new era of bilateral cooperation between Baku and Islamabad. The statements from sides of governments showed their high ambitions for securing the future of their bilateral cooperation, which could not be a challenging task for their respective leaders. Therefore, the mainstream political authorities of both states can quickly achieve their future plans with the continuation of contemporary designs of humanitarian engagements in diverse fields.