Autumn 2006 (14.3)
articles published by Azerbaijan International
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
Physics and Politics:
The Essential Differences as They Relate to the Azerbaijani-Armenian
"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
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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