Islamabad (PR): Preston University and the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan jointly organized a seminar titled ‘Black January: From Martyrdom to Independence of Azerbaijan”. Thereferenced seminar was held at the Islamabad Campus of Preston. Mr. Abdul Sattar, former foreign Minister of Pakistan presided over the event as chief guest. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Pakistan, H.E. Ali Alizada was the keynote speaker on the occasion.
In his address at the seminar Mr. Abdul Sattar, former foreign minister of Pakistan said the Black January Tragedy is a catastrophe that has no parallel in recent history. It is, in fact, the darkest period of history, he emphasized. He said between the night of January 19 and January 20, 1990 the Soviet forces attacked Azerbaijan’s capital Baku and killed 134 innocent people. In this brutal massacre 740 people were seriously injured. Hundreds of Azeri citizens went missing after the tragedy. Mr. Abdul Sattar said that the Azeris are a courageous nation who bravely fought the external aggressor and ultimately got independence from the Soviet Union on October 18, 1991. Dilating further on the subject he said that the Soviet forces crossed all bounds of civility and brutally murdered the innocent and unarmed citizens of Azerbaijan. The atrocities committed by the Soviet forces on the harmless people of Azerbaijan must be condemned in the strongest terms by the civilized world, Mr. Abdul Sattar said.
In his brief remarks on the occasion, H.E. Ali Alizada, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Pakistan said the tragedy of January 20, 1990 is an extremely sad happening in the history of Azerbaijan. On this tragic day the ruthless Soviet army crossed all bounds of graciousness and killed hundreds of innocent Azeri citizens. The carnage committed by the Soviet forces on the people of Azerbaijan was extremely inhuman, he said. He informed the distinguished gathering that Azerbaijan got its independence one and half year after the Black January tragedy and his country is now marching towards sustained progress. Ambassador Ali Alizada said that his country is an important member of the Muslim Ummah and it takes genuinely pride in this fact. He expressed his profound gratitude to the people and the government of Pakistan for their unflinching support to the people and the government of Azerbaijan, and informed the distinguished gathering that Pakistan was the first country to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. Ambassador Ali Alizada also expressed his sincere thanks to Dr. Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University for organizing a seminar on the Black January Tragedy of Azerbaijan. By doing so, Preston University has fulfilled an important obligation he acknowledged.
Earlier, in his welcome address Dr. Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University extended a warm welcome to H.E. Ali Alizada, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan and chief guest, Mr. Abdul Sattar, former foreign minister of Pakistan for their distinguished presence at the seminar. He said Preston University has been organizing a seminar on the ‘Black January Tragedy’ since the past five years. It has been doing so with the intent of expressing its solidarity with the people of Azerbaijan. Expressing his views on the subject of the seminar, Dr. Abdul Basit said the tragedy of January 20 must be condemned in the strongest terms by every enlightened nation. He said it is truly a pleasure to see Azerbaijan prosper and make a place for itself in the comity of respected world nations after the tragedy of January 20. He further said, the sacrifices made by those who were killed in the tragedy would not go waste and they would be remembered for a long, long time to come.
Eminent among the other speakers who spoke on the occasion were Prof. Dr. Z.A. Qureshi, HoD Department of International Relations, Preston University, Islamabad, Mr. Mehmood-ul-Hassan, Expert on Central Asia, Dr. Muhammad Khan, former head of department (HoD), IR, NDU Islamabad, Dr. Adnan Sarwar, Registrar Women University, Mardan, and Mr. Asif Noor, Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Islamabad. While expressing their views on the topic of the seminar the speakers termed the Black January Tragedy of Azerbaijan of January 20 as a tragedy that has no parallel in human history. The Black January during which innocent men, women and children were brutally killed by the ruthless Soviet forces is an occurrence that must be condemned by the world community out-and-out, they emphasized.
At the conclusion of the seminar, Dr. Abdul Basit, Chancellor Preston University, presented mementos, as a token of appreciation, to the chief guest, Mr. Abdul Sattar, former foreign minister of Pakistan, H.E. Ali Alizada, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan, and other distinguished guest speakers who spoke at the seminar.