Pak Army will not fight Armenia: FO confirms

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office dismissed “irresponsible” reports alleging that the Pakistan military is fighting alongside Azerbaijani forces against Armenia in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the reports were “speculative and baseless”.

“Pakistan is deeply concerned over the deteriorating security situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region,” Chaudhri said while reiterating Pakistan’s position on the conflict.

The spokesperson also said that intensive shelling by Armenian forces on the civilian populations of Azerbaijan is reprehensible and most unfortunate.

“This could compromise peace and security of the entire region. Armenia must stop its military action to avoid further escalation,” the spokesperson said.

Chaudhri said that Pakistan supports Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that the position was in line with the “several unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions”.

The FO’s statement came as fighting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continued despite calls for a ceasefire.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a simmering conflict for decades over the region and new fighting that erupted on Sunday has been the heaviest in decades.

Nearly 200 people have been confirmed killed, including more than 30 civilians, and there are fears of the fighting expanding into an all-out, multi-front war that could suck in regional powers Turkey and Russia.

As the clashes entered the sixth day on Friday, the defence ministry of Karabakh’s separatist government reported the deaths of 54 more of its troops.

It said there was fighting all along the frontline after “a relatively calmer night”.

Azerbaijan’s defence ministry also said the fighting was ongoing, and both sides claimed to have inflicted heavy losses.

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