WAR DRUMS: UPA GOVT MUST BRIEF PARLIAMENT ON DEVELOPMENTS IN SYRIA AND WEST ASIA
Military intervention in #Syria could have implications for #India, region
Friends, I know there are any number of pressing domestic issues to write about but I would like to devote this blog to the situation developing in West Asia in general and Syria in particular, which could have serious implications for India and Indians alike.
It is tempting to dismiss what happens outside of our borders, especially in West Asia, as far removed from our lives but in an increasingly interconnected world a flare-up in West Asia can affect you and me in more ways than one.
I’m sure some of you would recall the fallout of the 2003 Iraq war and more recently, the 2011 war in Libya. Both brought with them a host of challenges for India. Not least because of the sizable populations of Indian nationals living and working in Iraq and Libya. Their evacuation in itself posed a logistical nightmare. Then there were other issues to grapple with such as securing India’s oil imports and energy security; impact on India’s trade with the countries in the region; balancing India’s diplomatic relations with those countries on the one hand and the international community, on the other; and economic, cultural, political and geostrategic interests, etc.
Similar challenges can be anticipated for India once again if the international community led by the US and the UK decide on a military intervention in Syria. Such an action can be expected to engulf other countries in the region into a potential conflict with disastrous consequences. Any spill over of the Syrian conflict beyond its borders could adversely affect the countries in the region and beyond, many of which fall in what India considers as its extended neighbourhood.
Already, there are reports that the US and the UK suspect the Syrian government forces of having used chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels. Russia has warned the US against attacking Syria. Another country that is opposed to a military intervention in Syria is Iran.
It is imperative that the Central Government take the nation into confidence and brief Parliament on the developing situation in West Asia. The external affairs minister would do well to state the government’s concerns as candidly as possible so that the people can be made aware of the implications of a military intervention in Syria. Would a military intervention in Syria lead to stability in the country and the region? Does the prevailing situation in Iraq and Libya give us hope at all?
Syria had a relatively small Indian community, whose size has shrunk further in the last few months owing to the prevailing security situation in the country. But there are a whole host of issues that I have listed above that will require careful reflection and analysis.