Karabakh's bittersweet freedom - Armenian legacy of a landmine for every person.

ISLAMABAD -- Wearing a somber look on his face, 35-year Ayub was standing next to the ghost town of Fuzuli, reminiscing his pleasant memories of living with his parents and grandparents in this erstwhile prosperous agricultural city.

His family was exiled from Fuzuli following the Armenian occupation. Though settled in Baku for the past thirty years, they still eagerly await their return to native soil, which currently resembles a desolate wasteland with ruined public structures covered in vegetation.

As Ayub, an employee of the media industry, recalled the enchanting memories, behind him the masons were on work to construct residential highrises as part of the government's efforts to rehabilitate the area - a dream which is likely to take decades more to come true.

Following a 44-day war that ended in November 2020, consequent to a trilateral agreement, Azerbaijan has successfully liberated the area ending three decades of Armenia occupation.

The expatriated people who celebrated the victory of Azerbaijan and were hopeful of their early resettlement never knew that it was bittersweet liberation as the Armenia forces left behind a deadly legacy of around one million mines - one mine for every Azerbaijani, including women, children and the elderly, expelled from Karabakh.

If we take into account the huge amount of unexploded ordnance and improvised booby traps, the figure will be even higher.

The area liberated by Azerbaijan is 'twice bigger as Palestine and Bahrain and almost the same size as Qatar, Lebanon and Montenegro,' said Araz N. Imanov, Senior Advisor of the Special Representation of the President of Azerbaijan in the Karabakh Economic Region.

Imanov, who accompanied and briefed the foreign media representatives during a guarded tour of the liberated territory, told that after liberating the territory, the Azerbaijani government was faced with a daunting challenge of landmines as the area was one of the most contaminated one in the world. In fact, Armenia did not provide full information on the location of the mines.

Besides the mines, there were unexploded devices too making the area much more complicated.

'The terrain is not flat. There are a lot of fortifications and surprises. There are booby traps and hidden mines in water pipes. Some are hand made and some are remote control explosives. Everything that the deminers can expect is in this territory,' he said.

He said along the line of contact between the two countries, there are...

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