Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2006 (14.3)

Ambassador Hafiz Pashayev
Other articles published by Azerbaijan International

Nagorno-Karabakh and the Helsinki Commission
Hafiz Pashayev's testimony at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C. March 8, 1993. He insisted that the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was neither about religion nor minority rights The true nature of the conflict is territorial.

About the so-called "blockade": "A country under attack by another should not be expected-and may not even be able-to trade with its attacker. An invader cannot expect that those whom they invade will conduct trade and commercial activities on a 'business as usual' basis. Azerbaijanis ought not to be expected to collaborate in their own destruction." AI 1:2 (Summer 1993).

Loss of Faith - Greatest Casualty?
"The greatest casualty of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act is not that we are deprived of millions of dollars to help us transition to democratic processes as we totally rethink our educational, scientific, legislative, judicial and economic systems. No, the greatest casualty is the loss of faith and trust that average citizens of Azerbaijan feel towards the U.S. and the democratic process. Disillusionment and skepticism are settling in. We trusted the United States. We thought, and still believe, that democracy is based on truth, and that justice always prevails in the long run. It is incomprehensible to us that the selfish, short-sighted interests of small ethnic groups can drive U.S. foreign policy, especially when such decisions run counter to America's long-term interests in the region." AI 8:4 (Winter 2000).

Physics and Politics: The Essential Differences as They Relate to the Azerbaijani-Armenian Conflict
"Before I became Ambassador, I was a physicist and I have often been asked to compare life in academia with life in politics and diplomacy. There are many differences between the two, but the greatest distinction I've found is the role played by facts and the truth.

"In politics and diplomacy, facts and truths are all relative. Politicians have an ability to take the same set of 'facts' and provide widely differing interpretations and 'truths' regarding those 'facts'. Certainly that was never more true than in the case of the conflict between Armenia and my country Azerbaijan." AI 2:2 (Summer 1994).

Marvels of The Decade: Independence and Press in Azerbaijan
"Considering where Azerbaijan was in 1991 when we regained our independence [after 70 years] and where we are today, no objective observer could deny that real, substantial progress has been made. Had you told me in 1991 that elections - even with their shortcomings - would become normal events within a decade and would be praised by a Council of Europe rapporteur, I would not have believed you.

"Had you told me in 1991, after 70 years of Soviet communism, that within a decade censorship would be outlawed and human rights sanctified in law, I probably would have laughed. Had you told me in 1991 that within a decade there would be hundreds of independent media outlets in Azerbaijan, I would have been amazed but unconvinced. Yet all of that has come to pass within this past decade." AI 8:3 (Autumn 2000).

Mir Jalal Pashayev (1908-1978)
Hafiz Pashayev's father, Mir Jalal, was a well-known writer. Two of his short stories are published in AI. His work clearly influenced Hafiz' political thinking.

Mir Jalal is best remembered for his satirical short stories, which poked fun at the Soviet bureaucracy. His glimpses of everyday life are entertaining, informative and, on occasion, hilariously exaggerated, but they document the psychological transformation of a society that for generations was rewarded for denying common sense and for stifling personal intuition and initiative.

"Dried Up in Meetings" (1954)
This is one of Mir Jalal's most famous short stories. It is a spoof describing how the main character's obsession with bureaucratic procedures makes him totally out of touch with the realities of his family life. AI 12:1 (Spring 2004).

"Anket Anketov" (1932)
This short story ridicules the bureaucratic system of maintaining "personal files" for all employees. By poking fun of bureaucrats who held some of the lowest status positions - bath house managers, back scrubbers, cleaning women and accountants - the author distances himself from criticism and attacks that he might have received had he written about bureaucrats in more powerful positions. AI 4:1 (Spring 1996).


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