ISLAMABAD     -   Foreign Office on Friday refuted as speculative and baseless a media report claiming Pakistan Army fighting alongside Azerbaijani forces against Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Responding to queries about the media report, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said such reports are irresponsible. Reiterating Pakistan’s position on the issue, he said Pakistan is deeply concerned over the deteriorating security situation in Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The Spokesperson said the intensive shelling by Armenian forces on civilian populations of Azerbaijan is reprehensible and most unfortunate. This could compromise peace and security of the entire region.

“Pakistan supports Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh, which is in line with the several unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions,” he said.

Earlier, India media quoted Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Avet Adonts as saying that it “can’t exclude the possibility” of Pakistani fighters on the ground fighting along with “mercenaries operating in Azerbaijan.”

Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Avet Adonts allegedly said: “It won’t be a surprise for us,” recalling how in the 1990s Pakistani nationals were present when war broke in Nagorno Karabakh. He also slammed Turkey for sending Jihadis to Azerbaijan explaining “this imposed or instigated war” has been “well planned jointly with Turkey”.

Clashes have broken between Armenia and Azerbaijan in past few days over Nagorno Karabakh region leaving several dead and fears of spillover in the region. 

The Presidents of France, Russia and the United States called for an immediate ceasefire between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces around Nagorno-Karabakh, but Turkey said the three big powers should have no role in peace moves.

France, Russia and the United States are co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Minsk Group, set up in 1992 to mediate in the decades-old conflict over the mountainous enclave.

They appealed for peace as the death toll rose in the heaviest clashes since the 1990s around Nagorno-Karabakh – part of Azerbaijan, but run by its mostly ethnic Armenian inhabitants.

“We call for an immediate cessation of hostilities between the relevant military forces,” the joint French, Russian and US statement said.

They urged the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan to “commit without delay to resuming substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions” under what is called the Minsk process.

But in a speech to the Turkish parliament just before the three countries’ statement, President Tayyip Erdogan said he opposed their involvement.

“Given that the USA, Russia and France have neglected this problem for nearly 30 years, it is unacceptable that they are involved in a search for a ceasefire,” Erdogan said. He said a lasting ceasefire could be achieved only if “Armenian occupiers” withdrew from Nagorno-Karabakh. His comments are likely to fuel tension with his NATO allies as fears mount that the conflict could draw in regional powers Russia, which has a military base in majority Christian Armenia, and Turkey, a close ally of mainly Muslim Azerbaijan