October 28, 2020 - 11:35 AMT
Kommersant: Pakistani militants sent to Azerbaijan

At least one batch of militants with weapons and ammunition were formed and sent from Pakistan's Peshawar to Azerbaijan a few weeks ago to participate in hostilities against Nagorno-Karabakh, Kommersant reports citing informed sources.

“The main reason for Islamabad's involvement in the Karabakh game comes from the special Pakistani-Turkish relations. Top Pakistani military officials have always cherished the alliance with Ankara. So much so that not a single political leader of Pakistan has recognized the independence of Armenia after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, there are still no diplomatic relations between Islamabad and Yerevan,” said Andrei Serenko, head of the Center for Afghan Studies.

"According to information obtained just recently, militants are recruited in Pakistan to participate in the Karabakh conflict – another gesture of the Pakistani military towards its Turkish ally. The Karabakh issue is of little interest to Islamabad. All this is important for [Pakistan], first of all, in the context of interests with Turkey aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two largest Sunni authoritarian republics. At the same time, the Pakistani army and special services are not acting officially, but rather in the way they have been used to during many years of waging hybrid wars against Afghanistan and India, using a network of terrorist organizations controlled by the Pakistani Interdepartmental Intelligence Service such as Jamaat-i-Islami, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al-Badr, their madrasahs, mosques and recruiting infrastructure.

"The current close partnership of Turkey, Pakistan and Azerbaijan in the Karabakh war may be the beginning of a new long-term geopolitical alliance focused on supporting Ankara's neo-Ottoman ambitions. The Karabakh escalation was just a catalyst for the launch of this super-project."

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.