By Tanima Banerjee:
It was a sad day for India’s peace-keeping initiatives and the whole of International community striving to curb terrorism, and maintain peace on February 13, Monday when an Israeli Embassy car was blown up close to the high security Tughlak Road area around 3 pm, which is less than half a kilometer away from the Prime Minister’s residence. It injured 4 people, including an Israeli diplomat woman, Tal Yeshova, who was on her way to pick up her children from school. Incidents of terrorism are nothing new for India, who sadly has not been able to come up with very stringent measures to curb the same. Many theories have emerged since the blast. But this incident can’t be limited to just another terrorist attack. If one looks closely, it’s just not the much hyped magnetic bomb or the closeness of the location to the PM house that makes this incident “special” in a way. The attack on the Israeli embassy is a reflection on the happenings in the world community at large, and the way countries are turning against each other, almost forming allies against each other, on its stand on peacemaking efforts.
The attack comes within 10 days of the UN resolution brought up in the Security Council against the Syrian President, Bashar-al Assad, asking him to step down. The resolution draft , backed by the Arab league (from which Syria has been ousted in view of the shelling and bombing on its own civilians) was brought up in the General Assembly in order to show the condemnation towards the Syrian regime’s deadly crackdown. Russia and China vetoed the resolution in the Security Council, stating that the proposed resolution sent an “unbalanced signal” to the feuding parties and its clauses were insufficient to resolve the situation at Syria. Moscow and Beijing have much been condemned for this veto, which can be seen as blocking the path to bring about peace in Syria. 5,400 civilians in Homs have been already shelled to death by their own state in the name of curbing dissent in the past 11 months. In the present scenario of complete humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, India rose to the occasion and finally took its stand by voting for the resolution demanding the Assad government to step down. By this stand, India was answering to all those who believed India won’t support the resolution owing to its 12% crude oil supplies that it gets from Syria. But unlike Russia and China, who seem to have their own vested interests in the veto, which has begged for much criticism, India took a pro-peace stand for the civilians in Syria. A similar resolution was brought up again on the 16 February when the 193-member world body voted on the Arab-sponsored ‘non-binding’ resolution with 137 in favor, 12 against and with 17 abstentions. This resolution too was vetoed by Russia and China again. The reasons Russia gives for this veto was because it didn’t say anything about the opposition and didn’t bring in all the proposed amendments by it. This coming from a nation which has been allies with the Assad government since the Cold War isn’t much of a surprise. China in conjunction with this says that its veto was directed at stopping the turbulence and violence in Syria and seeking a more peaceful settlement of the crisis. It saw the UN resolution as a “threat of sanction” which would only complicate the issue. They believed (and so did India till the February 4 ) that they should give more time to the Assad government to implement reforms and for political dialogue. But is this support more to do with China’s needs of crude oil (which it buys from Iran, a supporter of Syria), or does it really have something else Â up in its sleeve, these are questions one is left to contemplate with.
However, this move in the General Assembly did seem to send a signal of International solidarity, as claimed by the UN, against the violence endorsing Assad regime.Â “This is an unambiguous message to the Syrian regime that the violence must stop, they must withdraw the armed forces from the towns and cities of Syria, they must stop the repression of their people and they must allow for the possibility of a political dialogue to start and for a political transition to democracy in Syria,” said British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant. “We hope that the regime will listen to this overwhelming message from the international community today.”
India once again took a stand for the Arab League backed resolution that called for withdrawal of all Syrian armed forces from all towns and cities and stop all violence and reprisals immediately. But it is indeed very distressing that such a humanitarian stand by India is being interpreted by countries like Iran as a political stand. Iran has recently been much in the news for its independent nuclear ambitions and programmes, and is with Russia and China in its opposition to the anti-Assad resolution in the UN. They see India’s support for the resolution in terms of India forming closer alliance with Israel, as it is already the biggest buyer of Israel’s defense equipment and also with Israel in anti-terrorism operations. Israel has spoken much against Iran’s nuclear exploits and also against the Syrian government, and hence India had to bear the consequences of favoring the anti-Assad resolution.
What is extremely disturbing is how political jargon and international relations have all got mixed into a complete mess, and establishing peace among innocent citizens is more in the papers and less in action. What happened in the UN Security Council is a perfect exemplary of how the countries are involved in talk and fruitless discussions, while civilians are being brutally and ruthlessly bombed for not supporting a certain authoritarian and dictatorial regime’s move that claims to be democratic. But the violence and death it is causing to people rising against the state doesn’t seem to be an act “of the people, for the people and by the people”. While such tyranny abides openly, the United Nations can only send signals and messages of peace, and can’t really interfere in the situation because two of its permanent council members don’t think establishing immediate peace and stopping all the killings is of immediate concern, but resolving the Syrian crisis “through an inclusive political process led by the Syrians themselves“, as stated by the Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin himself. Just because their amendments were not enacted into the resolution to bring peace urgently, one stops a positive initiative by the world’s biggest peace keeping organization.
What’s highly ironic in the situation is that if a country takes its own stand to bring harmony, it has to bear the brunt of being a victim of political manipulation and terrorism. Is peace and security of the civilians on earth secondary to international politics? Does this not expose the complete inability and helplessness of the United Nations to do anything, which was formed after the world wars only to curtail such situations? What stand should countries like India take, which is stuck between its own policies to stand with the international communities and forming alliances with countries for its own better future? Or should it also like US, China and Russia take steps for personal motives and personal allegiance and not for humanity? Will peace ever abide?
Image courtesy:Â http://despardes.com/tag/iran/
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