Politics 11:17 03/02/2021 World

Opinion: Pashinyan made yet another gaffe, implying that Shushi was an Azeri city

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

After ruling Armenia as Prime Minister for almost three years and most importantly during the country’s recent disastrous defeat in the Artsakh War, Nikol Pashinyan keeps making mistake after mistake and misstatement after misstatement.

As I have written before, regrettably Pashinyan is not competent to lead Armenia. He is more of a protester and a critic who does not possess the necessary skills and experience to be the head of state. The Artsakh War made the situation in the country even worse and exposed Pashinyan’s inability to manage the plethora of Armenia’s problems.

Armenians around the world had high hopes that, after getting rid of the previous regime, Pashinyan would be able to lead Armenia into prosperity and a degree a normalcy. The overwhelming majority of Armenians supported him due to their complete hostility to the former government.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Pashinyan was all talk and no action. In addition to his lack of experience, he surrounded himself with advisors and ministers who knew even less than he did. As a result, neither he nor his government had the slightest chance to be successful. The Artsakh War made matters worse. As the Commander-in-Chief, he made error after error leading Armenia and Artsakh to an indescribable disaster from which we will not recover for decades, if ever. Pashinyan now insists that he should remain in power to correct the grave problems of the country. One would be extremely naïve to believe in such a promise. A leader who is incompetent to lead in peace time and utterly fails during the war is in no position to correct anything. He has made matters worse with his misstatements and erroneous policies.

Several weeks ago, while addressing the Parliament, Pashinyan angered many Armenians by describing as “unfortunate and pale” the historic Armenian city of Shushi in Artsakh. There was no reason to use such negative adjectives to describe a city which is the pride of all Armenians.

More recently, during another appearance in Parliament, in response to a question from a deputy about Shushi, Pashinyan made matters worse for himself, when he said: “Shushi before the conflict and the liberation [in 1992], had an Azeri population of 90 and more percent. In other words, you mean to say that the city of Shushi with an Azeri population of 90 and more percent is Armenian with that status?”

A huge outcry erupted among Armenians around the world after Pashinyan’s unfortunate words. This was yet another self-inflicted wound. A few days later, during Pashinyan’s visit to Yeraplour, the cemetery where fallen Armenian soldiers are buried, when a journalist questioned him about his statement in Parliament on Shushi, he said that he would give an answer if the reporter put her question in writing. The following day, the journalist wrote Pashinyan’s words on a large placard and read them aloud, while standing in front of the Prime Minister’s building. Even though one of Pashinyan’s supporters attacked the journalist and tore up her placard, the Prime Minister kept his word and on his Facebook page addressed the controversy during a live video.

In his response, Pashinyan first accused the media of manipulating his words. He repeated that in the early 1990’s Azeris consisted of over 90% or rather 96% of Shushi residents. He went on to state: “How Shushi could be considered under Armenian control by its status when 96% of the population was Azerbaijani?” Pashinyan then mentioned the offer by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on October 19, 2020, several weeks before the end of the war, to accept Armenia’s demand for a ceasefire on condition that Armenians allow the return of the former Azeri residents to Shushi, under Armenian rule.

Pashinyan made several errors in his original statement and subsequent failed attempt to set the record straight. Actually, he had no reason to go into such a convoluted and false argument. He had just to say that he rejected Aliyev’s offer because allowing Azeris to return to Shushi under Armenian control was unacceptable to him and most Armenians. In fact, that’s exactly what Pashinyan told the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, when the latter relayed to him Aliyev’s offer. Had Pashinyan limited his remarks to that fact, there would have been no outcry in the Armenian world. There was no reason to say that Shushi was mostly populated by Azeris prior to 1992, causing such a controversy at a time when his power is waning and he is criticized by a lot of Armenians, including many of his former supporters.

By mentioning the high percentage of Azeris living in Shushi in the past, Pashinyan made several mistakes:

First of all, regardless of the number of Azeris who lived in Shushi, it is a well-known fact that it has been an Armenian city for centuries long before Azerbaijan existed. In 1920, after Azeris massacred thousands of Armenians in Shushi and pursued a policy to depopulate the city’s Armenians, their numbers were diminished considerably. But Pashinyan provided no such background in his misleading statement.

Secondly, Pashinyan was wrong to judge whether an area is Armenian or not by its population at a particular time. For example, there are hardly any Armenians now living in Nakhichevan or Western Armenia, but Armenians still consider these territories to be a part of historic Armenia.

Thirdly, it is understandable that accepting Aliyev’s offer to allow former Azeri residents to return to Shushi, under Armenian control, was a hard pill to swallow for Pashinyan and most Armenians, there is an important issue to consider. How many Azeris would have returned to Shushi to live under Armenian rule? Very few, if any. Pashinyan’s implication that thousands of Azeris would have returned to Shushi, making the city’s population again 96% Azeri was totally unrealistic. No Azeri would have wanted to live in Shushi under Armenian rule, just like no Armenian would risk living in territories controlled by Azerbaijan.

Finally, Pashinyan’s refusal to accept Aliyev’s offer on October 19, 2020, meant that the war was prolonged until November 9, 2020, causing the loss of much more Armenian territories to Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Azeris took over Shushi completely and many more young Armenian soldiers were killed or wounded. The consequences of Pashinyan’s faulty decisions during the war were far worse than his misstatement in Parliament and his subsequent lame effort to correct himself.

The Prime Minister should realize that the longer he clings to power, the more he destabilizes the country. A defeated and incompetent leader cannot improve the tragic situation in the country. The sooner he leaves, the faster a new government can take over and try to reduce the damages suffered by Armenia and Artsakh.



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:30
Armenian Ambassador to Vietnam met with members of VUFO and VAFA
In the framework of the events dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Armenia, Ambassador of Armenia to the...
20:12
Russian university shooter published sick post detailing his planned crime before murdering six people
The detained Russian university shooter Timur Bekmansurov published a long, detailed explanation of his preparation, in which he claimed it was...
20:05
No bodies found in search for Artsakh war casualties on September 20
Continued search efforts to find casualties of the 2020 Artsakh war were unsuccessful on Monday, September 20 the State Service of Emergency...
19:42
Concert dedicated to birth anniversaries of Armenian composers Spendaryan and Babajanyan to take place in London
A concert dedicated to the 150the anniversary of Alexandr Spendaryan and 100th anniversary of Arno Babajanyan will take place on October 16 in...
19:19
Over 27 UAV teams competed in Lernapat: “Hawk 2021”
On September 18, the first "Hawk 2021" UAV contest took place at the UAV airport after Karen Karapetyan in Lernapat village. The...
18:35
Air temperature to drop by 6-9 degrees in the coming days
Rain with thunderstorm is predicted in the afternoon of September 22-23, at night of 25 in separate regions, in the daytime of 24 in most...
18:11
Armenian actress, translator, publicist Anahit Topchyan dies at the age of 74
Eminent Armenian actress, Honored Artist of RA,  member of the National Cinema Center of Armenia Anahit Topchyan died on Monday. The news...
17:25
Turkey and Azerbaijan in the process of relocating Afghan terrorists into Nagorno-Karabakh- ICC
Reports indicate that Turkey and Azerbaijan may be in the process of relocating Afghan terrorists into the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh),...
17:19
Erdogan’s visit to Russia being prepared - Peskov
A visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin is being prepared, Kremlin Spokesman...
16:49
RA People’s Actress Zhenya Avetisyan passed away
Famous Armenian actress  Zhenya Avetisyan has passed away, Gabriel Sundukyan National Academic Theatre said in a statement on Monday. ...
16:10
OSCE PA Special Representative to visit Armenia
Recently appointed OSCE PA Special Representative on South Caucasus Kari Henriksen (Norway) and Secretary General Roberto Montella have just...
15:52
Special Prayer Service to be held on the occasion of the Independence Day
On September 21, a Special Prayer Service will held in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Armenian  Apostolic churches on the occasion...
15:15
Vardan Voskanyan: Choice of area for Iranian military exercises ‘sends out clear signals’
Armenian expert on Iran Vardan Voskanyan commented on the military exercises being conducted by Iran on the border with Azerbaijan....
14:55
France pulls out of UK defence talks amid Aukus row
France's defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart amid the row prompted by a new security deal between Britain, the US...
14:39
Armenian, Russian deputy PMs release different figures for growth of trade turnover between two countries
In 2019, for the first time, the trade turnover between Armenia and Russia exceeded the $2 billion mark, Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister...
13:55
Kadyrov wins Chechnya elections after processing 100% of voting results
Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya, has garnered 99.7% of the votes after processing 100% of the balloting results, TASS reports, citing...
13:45
Armenian expert reacts to Erdogan’s statement he's received Pashinyan's offer to meet
Turkologist, Doctor of History and Professor Ruben Melkonyan has reacted to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statement that...
12:46
Russian peacekeepers solve over 100 different social issues of residents in Artsakh every day
Russian peacekeepers continue to provide comprehensive assistance to representatives of the local authorities of the settlements of Artsakh...
12:35
At least 8 killed in shooting at Russian university
At least eight people have been killed when a gunman opened fire at a university in the Russian city of Perm, officials say. The assailant...
12:24
Opposition MP: Security systems on Goris-Kapan road either do not work or work with severe disruptions
The recent incidents on different sections of the Goris-Kapan interstate road go to show that the relevant security systems on that section of...
11:46
Armenia records 342 fresh Covid-19 cases on Sept. 20
Armenia has confirmed 342 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 253,942 as of 11 a.m. Monday, September 20, the...
11:37
Turkey ready for dialogue with Armenia if it opens transport link, Erdogan says
Turkey is ready for talks with Armenia, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, adding that Yerevan needs to take steps toward opening...
11:22
Viva-MTS: Annual charity dinner in support of socially vulnerable groups
The 15th annual charity dinner of Orran Charitable Non-Governmental Organization took place at the Armenia Marriott hotel. The yearly event...
11:03
Firefighting resumes at Armenia’s Arevik National Park
Firefighting efforts resumed at the Arevik National Park in Syunik Province of Armenia early on Monday, the Ministry of Emergency Situations...
10:42
Notre-Dame ready for restoration after post-fire safety work completed
France's Notre-Dame cathedral is finally ready to undergo restoration work more than two years after a blaze ravaged the heritage landmark,...
10:33
Azerbaijan returns two Armenian citizens – NSS
The two Armenian citizens, who had crossed into the territory under Azerbaijan’s control, returned to Armenia late on Sunday, the National...
20:00
'New' Van Gogh drawing unveiled in Amsterdam
The Amsterdam museum verified and put on display a previously unknown drawing by famous Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, Deutsche Welle reported....
19:30
Lonel Messi's PSG contract details are 'leaked'
Lionel Messi is set to earn well over £100m in the next three years with Paris Saint-Germain after his contract with the club was leaked,...
19:00
Nicolas Cage says he is ‘never going to retire’ from acting
Nicolas Cage has said that he is “never going to retire” from acting. The actor, who turned 57 in January, made the claim in a...
18:45
Air temperature to gradually grow on September 19-20
Rain with thunderstorm is predicted in the daytime of September 20, on 22 in separate regions, on 23 in most regions, Hydromet meteorological...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}