Pakistani expert presents brief overview of Azerbaijani politics
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan has progressed by leaps and bounds. It has come a long way from being a newly interdependent country through its inclusive economic goals and friendly foreign policy options. It happened due to the vigilant policies initiated by Former Azerbaijani President His Excellency Heydar Aliyev, Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad, writes for AZERTAC.
While discussing Azerbaijan's successful military campaign against Armenia, one must not forget the diplomatic efforts conducted by President Ilham Aliyev to portray to the world vis-à-vis Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh’s stance. Due to the vigilant activities by Azerbaijan's officials during the past couple of decades, the world was convinced that Azerbaijan has every right to reclaim the conflicted lands. It has also been witnessed in the recent Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.
Azerbaijan’s visionary leadership made sure that its rightful stance is duly propagated and disseminated throughout the world. For example, whether it was the platform of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group made for the amicable resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1992, other bilateral or multilateral platforms vis-à-vis this conflict. Consequently, important international platforms like the United Nations Organization (UNO), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and many conscientious countries worldwide have accepted Armenia's atrocious role in this conflict. Moreover, it was demanded evacuation from the Nagorno-Karabakh region until the start of the second Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Under the guidance of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has always kept its key allies like Pakistan and Turkey close to their heart. In recent times, they have reached new eights of international, military, academic and socio-economic cooperation. Furthermore, more dynamics of regional cooperation have been enhanced and are expected to strengthen further in the near future. The country has also fostered active engagement and cooperation with significant regional and global organizations.
Azerbaijan’s growing influence in the region
Under President Ilham Aliyev's dynamic leadership, Azerbaijan has continued its effective policies of developing strong regional political and economic partnerships. In this aspect, certain factors are important to highlight that has led to the exponential increase in forming regional alliances for the greater good of the whole region. For instance, Azerbaijan's geopolitical and strategic location, unified stance over the Nagorno-Karabagh region, effective structural and international policy reforms. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and blindly joining alliances of major world powers, Azerbaijan’s foreign policy objectives of restraining itself from joining joint military alliances of the superpowers and keeping its neutrality intact have remained commendable. Moreover, its inclusive economic initiative, peacekeeping missions, and education programs in Iraq and Afghanistan have been appreciated, worldwide.
Successful inclusive economic plans
Azerbaijan is a country that has been bestowed with abundant natural resources. Its oil and gas production facilities have bought huge sustenance to its economic structure over the past decades. Its 1994 “contract of the century” agreement with multiple global oil companies has significantly boosted its Gross Domestic Product (DGP). Moreover, these resources have also provided the necessary impetus for its economic uplift during President Ilham Aliyev's tenure, which continues to this day. Consequently, its exports have steadily increased across the globe.
Furthermore, the structural reforms of the early 1990s related to price liberalization, privatization reforms, fiscal reforms, and agricultural reforms have also substantially modernized Azerbaijan's economy during the past three decades. Due to the worldwide downfall in oil-gas prices and the rampant spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s economies have suffered drastically. In this regard, Azerbaijan's economy has faced a minor setback. However, the minor setback is covered and substituted with positive economic indicators and efficient policies, and visionary leadership.
Rise of Azerbaijan's tourism industry
Presently, the significant increase in the efficacy of Azerbaijan’s tourism industry for economic growth and soft image building cannot be denied in the modern age. With the fluctuating oil and gas prices in the international market, the incumbent government has focused on developing and expanding its tourism industry to recover from any economic repercussions. As a result of the consequent prudent steps, tourism in Azerbaijan has increased exponentially in recent years. In the year 2019, the success of the tourism industry in the country reached a new height. Foreigners from 193 countries visited Azerbaijan during this year. These numbers is a testament to the country’s tourism industry’s success. The main activities that attracted the visits from countries around the world were leisure, serenity business, exploring cultural-religious sites and to some extent seek better medical assistance.