Armenia and Pakistan: Time for Change?

By Maxim Edwards, CRRC-Armenia International Fellow

On the 21st of September 2013, the Republic of Armenia celebrates the 22nd anniversary of its independence. Great strides have been taken over the past 22 years in developing Armenia's overseas friendships. Nevertheless, bilateral relations with some countries have not been as successful. Whilst Turkey and Azerbaijan recognize Armenia's independence, neither maintains diplomatic relations with it. Similarly, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen maintain no diplomatic relations with Armenia, whilst Armenia's relations with EU member-state Hungary were suspended following the extradition of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan.

However, one UN member, Pakistan, the majority Muslim country of 182 million, refuses to recognize Armenia as an independent state. In February 2012, Pakistan's ambassador in Baku reaffirmed his government's stance on Nagorno-Karabakh, stating that Pakistan would not recognize Armenian independence unless Armenian forces ended their violation of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.Pakistan's 'brotherly Muslim relations' with Azerbaijan due to 'historical, ethnic continuity' of Muslim people,have also led Baku to support Pakistan over Kashmir.

Despite Azerbaijan and Pakistan's mutual diplomatic support and co-operation in educational exchanges, joint economic ventures and military technology, Azerbaijanis appear not to value their country's relationship with Pakistan as a particularly important one. According to the CRRC's 2012 Caucasus Barometer, just 0.3% of respondents in Azerbaijan saw Pakistan as their country's biggest friend, compared to 95.5% for Turkey and 2% for Russia (see Graph 1).

Graph 1. 

Note however that these respondents were asked to name only their country's best friend, so to speak. Whether Pakistan would have proven more popular had respondents been able to name more than one country is worth considering.
Similarly, Pakistan is not perceived by Armenians as an enemy; when asked who they considered country's biggest enemy, 61.8% of respondents in Armenia chose Azerbaijan and 35.1% Turkey (See Graph 2). 

Graph 2. 

Of the four other majority Muslim countries which do not maintain diplomatic relations with Armenia (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen), none were mentioned by respondents. Meantime, Armenia has some trade with them (see the table below). 

Table 1. External Trade Database by country, 2012

However, for Pakistanis wishing to satisfy their curiosity about Armenia, there is always a chance. 'The biggest shock for me' says Farooq, a student, journalist and researcher from Pakistan living in Erfurt, Germany, - 'was that even though I had an Armenian friend, I hadn't known that my country didn't recognise Armenia'.Specializing in conflict analysis and being published many times, and perceiving Armenia as an ideal country to learn more and write an article, Farooq applied for the CRRC International Fellowship.  Once selected as an International Fellow, Farooq was ready to leave for Armenia to start his ten-week fellowship. Predictably, the process was time-consuming, and, though, he received a visa, due to personal reasons he never arrived.  

Nevertheless, Farooq is determined to visit Armenia, and should another opportunity arise, he would not miss it. He especially wants to study and try bridging the gulf he sees between Armenia and Pakistan. As he said, ‘ I am sure I will visit CRRC, Yerevan and Armenia one day. I am also sure that one day the situation in terms of relations would also improve solely because Armenia is the land of nice people and hospitality’. He believes that 'the youth will surely wish to reach out to Armenia, making Armenian friends like me and improving ties between both countries'.


Anonymous said…
Why armenians should care about pakistan. pakistan does not have any border with armenia and it's relation with that country is not significant. if they don't recognize my country why armenia recognizes them. armenia is a country that existed from the very civilization and even thousands of years. pakistan is a fake country. if i were armenian president, i would call pakistan occupied india.
Anonymous said…
That's the reason why Pakistan doesn't recognize Armenia about their hostile and bias attitude.

The main issue is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
. Pakistan has supported Azerbaijan during and after the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Pakistan also opposes Armenian irredentist claims against Turkey and Azerbaijan. Pakistan does not recognize the 1915 Genocide and maintains that during the war a large number of Armenians and Muslims were killed. Being only the second country after Turkey to recognize Azerbaijan, Pakistan has close relations with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan supports Pakistan's stand on Kashmir issue. Armenia has friendly relations with India, and recognises Kashmir as part of India. Armenia's close relations with India have severely hindered its relations with Pakistan.
<a href=">Wiki Source(Armenia - Pak relation)</a>

So, change your attitude, act like a nation so everyone can respect you. Keep in mind, respect can't earned automatically
Anonymous said…
Just because one Paki wrote some crap on Wiki, it does not mean that you need to cite it. There is no real evidence that Pakistan does not recognise Armenia (the only `proof' is a testimony of two drunk and stupid parliamentarians - that does not constitute an official viewpoint). On the other hand, Pakis are usually nutheads and support any Islamic fundamentalist crap, e.g. you happily supporting and hiding bin Laden. Shame on you! Still if you really do not recognise another country, then shame on you! It is not a civilised practice to `not recognise' another sovereign country (it's similar to announcing war). Yet again Shame on Pakistan!

Anonymous said…
Why Armenia should recognize Pakistan?First of all,its the other way,Pakistan not recognizing Armenia.Besides that we have to take also some certain issues and facts into consideration.The fact that the islamic state of Pakistan is a serious and cordial ally of Turkey for decades.This alliance extends to various military,economic,industrial,technological,financial and commercial treaties,agreements,cordial validations and amicable relations,transforming into a tradition of turkish-pakistani friendship and cooperation.The same situation applies after 1991 between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.Pakistan is also a very prominent of the enemies of Iran,which is among the best strategic and economic allies of Armenia.The same applies for Greece and Cyprus,which supported Armenia internationally in the fields of diplomacy,and in the Nagorno war where it supported the armenian republic of Artsakh in various ways.Pakistanis are considered among the worst of illegal aliens,in terms of parasitism,crime and behavior.The overwhelming majority of Greeks considers them invaders and among the best and worst allies of Turkey,since their coming in 2007 and afterwards.In this directions we should point in the disclosure of pakistani participation in joint air incursion drills and violations with the Turks in late 2012.This is very important because Armenia is dependent in support of air combat training and personnel,which only Russia and Greece are eager to provide,as happened in the Nagorno wars.
Having said all that we should not omit the international situation of Armenia towards the islamic patrons and financial saviors of Pakistan,Saudi Arabia and the rest of sunni arab emirates,whose position is totally pro-turkish and pro-sunni in the Caucasus,Balkans and east mediterranean.A position that seriously harms armenian interests through its cordial allies,like Russia,Iran,Syria,Greece and Bulgaria.
Pakistan is just not an islamic self-sufficient nation like Azerbaijan or Malaysia.It is considered a beggar state,a failed financial country leaving off with subsidies and low interest loans from USA,SA and the gulf arab sunni states.It works as the nuclear haven of SA and Turkey,something that renders that state on the anti-armenian bloc forever.The situation of the war in Syria is just another example of the vital opposite interests for Armenians and Pakistan.
The international position on secessionist wars,is not an event of amazement.Pakistan is out in the world for support of its secessionist Kashmir while it supports the 'integrationists' in Crimea,Ossetia,Bosnia and Nagorno,but this is the same that US democratic and republican governments are doing.
To make an ending i would like to point that Pakistanis in Germany comments about Armenia.He doesnt acknowledges that is Pakistan which doesnt recognize Armenia,but he prospects that Armenians will change stance,like its Armenians who dont recognize it.
Armenia is ready to recognize Pakistan,there is nothing to prevent them,but that doesn't premises of any concessions at all.As i would say it again Armenia is not in need of Pakistan.
Anonymous said…
The information on Wikipedia that Pakistan does not recognize Armenia is false. Pakistan has recognized Armenia on December 27, 1992. Before that Pakistan has sent humanitarian aid to Armenia during 1988 earthquake. However, the diplomatic relations were not established.