Politics 11:30 03/04/2024 Armenia

Pashinyan is a greater threat to Armenia’s security than Artsakh's government-in-exile

By Harut Sassounian


We all know the disasters that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan brought upon Armenia in addition to losing Artsakh due to his incompetence.

We can cite Pashinyan’s many misguided actions and contradictory statements. Following his complete mismanagement of the military as Commander-in-Chief during the 2020 war, Pashinyan is now making sure that Armenians forget about the loss of Artsakh by wiping out its name from people’s memory.

Pashinyan took no action to protect Artsakh Armenians’ right to live peacefully in their millennia-old homeland. He also made no advance preparations to house the over 100,000 refugees from Artsakh, even though he knew that after the 2020 war Artsakh Armenians would eventually flee to Armenia.

To make matters worse, knowing that in future elections Artsakh Armenians will not vote for his political party, Pashinyan declared that they are not citizens of Armenia. These people for decades have had passports of the Republic of Armenia which were recognized not only by Armenia but also by foreign countries when they travelled overseas. Regrettably, thousands of Artsakh Armenians have since left Armenia for Russia to find shelter and work to be able to feed their families.

Furthermore, Pashinyan refuses to meet with any Artsakh official and opposes Artsakh Armenians holding protests in Yerevan to complain about their dire conditions in Armenia.

Here is the latest example of Pashinyan’s anti-Artsakh actions. Last week, the President of Artsakh Samvel Shahramanyan gave an interview to the French Le Figaro newspaper in which he said that the Republic of Artsakh continues to exist despite its occupation by Azerbaijan. He also stated that there is an Artsakh government-in-exile in Yerevan where his offices are located.

Shahramanyan’s words angered Pashinyan who immediately lashed back and warned that legal action will be taken against all those who talk about an Artsakh government-in-exile. Without any evidence, Pashinyan accused the Artsakh leaders of threatening Armenia’s national security. Not understanding the meaning of the term ‘government-in-exile,’ Pashinyan said that there is only one government in Armenia and there cannot be a second government, even though nobody was talking about creating a second government. If Pashinyan had any knowledgeable advisers, they would have informed him that there are in many countries dozens of ‘governments-in-exile’ which are universally accepted under international law.

In reality, the only person in Armenia who is threatening the security of Armenia is Pashinyan himself. Not only he has not defended the rights of Artsakh Armenians who are citizens of Armenia, but has also allowed Azerbaijan's military to cross Armenia’s borders in 2021 and 2022. In addition, when Pres. Aliyev demanded that Armenia hand over to Azerbaijan four Armenian villages, Pashinyan warned their inhabitants that otherwise Azerbaijan will start a new war.

In his harsh reply to Shahramanyan, Pashinyan also threatened to take appropriate measures so that “foreign forces do not use certain [Artsakh] circles as a threat to the security of Armenia.” It is regrettable that Pashinyan is falsely accusing Artsakh Armenians of being manipulated by foreigners.

Pashinyan’s real problem is not Artsakh’s government-in-exile, but the fact that Artsakh Armenians are taking steps to keep the memory of Artsakh alive, which is highly embarrassing for him, since he is the one who gave it away. We have lost Artsakh to the enemy, but we should not erase it from our memory. We have an obligation not only to remember Artsakh, but transmit the dream of returning to Artsakh to the next generation. This is critical because if future generations do not know that Artsakh is an Armenian land, when the opportunity presents itself for its liberation, they will not take advantage of it, thus losing Artsakh forever, not because of what the enemy has done, but because of our own inaction.

In the meantime, we can only regret that Armenia’s Prime Minister, wittingly or unwittingly, is doing Pres. Aliyev’s bidding by trying to suppress even the memory and dream of Artsakh. Furthermore, it will be shameful if Pashinyan, acting on his threats, were to order the arrest of Artsakh leaders in Armenia, thus joining Baku in holding Artsakh leaders as captives.

With each passing day, Pashinyan is intensifying his anti-Armenian actions. How long will Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora remain silent in the face of such self-defeating actions? When will Armenians wake up from their slumber, say ‘enough is enough’ and find a new competent leader to lead the nation out of this quagmire? Contrary to Pashinyan’s contention, Artsakh is not a closed issue. Armenians should not continue to sit with their arms folded and watch Armenia gradually disappear because of the misdeeds of one man!

Finally, it would be shameful if Shahramanyan and other Artsakh officials were to be forced by Pashinyan to leave Armenia and relocate their government-in-exile to a foreign country.

Source Panorama.am
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