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Thursday, 18 October 2018 09:30

Restoration of independence – facts of recent history of Azerbaijan Featured

Restoration of independence – facts of recent history of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan was the first democratic republic created in the Muslim world in 1918. We are fairly proud of being the first in the Muslim world. This time, in 1991 Azerbaijan was not among the first union republics which declared state independence. Azerbaijan was the 13th union republic which declared its state independence.

As early as 1990, great leader Heydar Aliyev undertook very important and serious steps towards the independence. After the January 20 tragedy, he was the first to condemn the Soviet leadership, accuse organizers of the January tragedy, condemn the Soviet government and the work of its leader. He left the ranks of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and those were the initial steps of Azerbaijan on the way to independence. Subsequently, as a leader of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, in November 1990 he changed the name of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic by deleting the words “Soviet Socialistic”.

At that time, a three colored flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was declared as a state flag of Nakhchivan on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev. A petition about taking that step here as well was initiated before the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, it was not done. Early in 1991, when a referendum for preserving the Soviet Union was held in Azerbaijan, no referendum was held in Nakhchivan on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev. All of this was steps taken towards the independence. On the other hand, all these steps show that great leader Heydar Aliyev is an initiator and founder of the state independence of Azerbaijan.

The first period of our independence was tragic. In 1992-1993, Azerbaijan faced big challenges and losses. This period can be divided into two stages. The first stage covers the period between October 1991 and summer 1992. That was the period of missed opportunities and losses. Armenia unleashed aggression against Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis were banished from Nagorny Karabakh. Occupation of Shusha and Lachin district in May 1992 was a big loss and tragedy.

The period from summer of 1992 until June 1993 was the period of infamy, shame and distress.

PFA-Musavat which seized the power illegally dragged the country into the abyss. Geographical connection was established between Nagorny Karabakh and Armenia after Kalbajar district had been occupied in April 1993. Processes running inside Azerbaijan were collapsing the country. Economic crisis was observed. It can be said that industry was paralyzed. The authority of that period was trying to ensure only its own interests. Corruption and bribery reached the limit at that period. Illegal armed groups dictated their condition in the country, armed people walked along the streets of Baku and caused trouble to people. In spite of the running of bloody battles with Armenia, the PFA-Musavat grouping began a civil war in order to retain its power in Azerbaijan. They bombed the city of Ganja, fraternal blood was shed, as a result of which we faced much bigger casualties.

As a result of incompetent, venal activity of the PFA-Musavat grouping, Azerbaijan stood on the verge of a loss of state independence. History seemed to be repeating itself again. The independence gained in 1918 we lost in 1920 – within 2 years. This time again, two years later we were very close to that. If Heydar Aliyev had not come to power by the demand of people at that period, the fate of the country could have been extremely dire and deplorable. The PFA-Musavat grouping, which tried to remove Heydar Aliyev in Nakhchivan, including the dispatch of armed landing troops, ended up in a difficult situation and addressed to Heydar Aliyev. They invited him to Baku to save them. They have sent the plane to Nakhchivan thrice.

By arriving in Baku, Heydar Aliyev, first of all, showed respect to the will of the people of Azerbaijan. As a great statesman and patriot, he came to Baku on those hard days, after which the development period began in Azerbaijan. 1993 was a decisive year. Heydar Aliyev was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council in June and the situation started gradually improving. Illegal armed troops were disarmed. Serious steps were taken in terms of the army building. Statehood bases were laid. Security was provided. Constitution of independent Azerbaijan was adopted in 1995. Serious political reforms were held in our country. Noteworthy is also the contribution of the New Azerbaijan Party to the establishment of political system in modern Azerbaijan.

New Azerbaijan party was created in 1992 under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev as an opposition party, and set an example of political struggle.

Political reforms implemented in Azerbaijan under the leadership of Heydar Aliyev aimed at developing democracy and protecting human rights. In those years Azerbaijan managed to overcome an international isolation as there was no information about our country in the world. Using the opportunities of its lobby, Armenia held a smear campaign against us. We were deprived of opportunities to answer and deliver the truth to the world community. That is to say, international isolation and information blockade came to an end.

Economic reforms were launched in Azerbaijan. Market economy principles were established. It was the very years when external political priorities were defined. Azerbaijan started developing as a modern and secular state. That is to say, it was the very years when strategic steps associated with the future of our country were taken. Today, history shows that it was the only right way.

At that period, Azerbaijan faced a hard economic situation. It can be said that our industry was destroyed and inflation was measured at thousands of percents. Of course the economy of the country could not develop without foreign investments in such situation. Certainly, the country could not be independent without the development of economy. Therefore, the Contract of the Century was signed in 1994 at the initiative of Heydar Aliyev. 24 years have passed since then.  But the Contract of the Century keeps playing its role in development and strengthening of our country even today. For the first time in history, Azerbaijan opened the way to the Caspian Sea for foreign investors. Investments worth billions of dollars were made into Azerbaijan and our country began developing. The contract on development of Shah Deniz gas field was signed in 1996. Today, Shah Deniz field is playing a special role in ensuring energy security of Azerbaijan, the region and to a certain extent Europe. Reputation and international influence of Azerbaijan continue growing.

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