[Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East. The selection of an item does not mean the endorsement or concurrence concur with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND]
The anti-government demonstrations that started in the southern city of Deraa in mid-March are worsening. It’s not the size of these demonstrations that is increasing but the number of casualties due to action taken by the security forces is also increasing. Particularly, it was reported that in the last two demonstrations 72 and 50 people were killed respectively. Likewise, the human rights groups in Syria swear that more than 500 people have been killed in the anti-government demonstrations even though government sources and neutral observers have not confirmed these numbers. It is possible that these numbers are manipulated but the fact that the Syrian security forces have been using unprecedented force to control the demonstrators and a large number of them have been killed cannot be denied. Even though the way President Bashar al-Assad agreed to end the emergency in the beginning itself raised hopes that the situation in Syria will return to normal shortly and the President would save the country from falling into chaos by entering into negotiations with the opposition leaders, it did not happen and now it seems that the situation there is getting out of government’s control. The opposition leaders have intensified their movement, while it has been reported that the ruling Baath party leaders from Deraa have resigned from the government. It has also been reported that the electricity and water supply to the Deraa have been stopped as well as the communication links to the city have been disconnected. The foreign media is not being allowed to reach Deraa.
Clearly, the international community, particularly those who term themselves as the flag-bearers of democracy and champions of human rights, cannot remain silent. The United Nations Human Rights Council, despite opposition from China and Russia, passed a resolution condemning Syria on Friday. The Western European, African and Latin countries actively pursued this resolution brought by the US. Although due to Chinese and Russian opposition or rather intervention the paragraph which proposed the removal of Syria’s membership from the UN, due to aggressive use of force against own people, was removed from the draft resolution of UNHRC.
But the American President Barack Obama has made it clear that what the US wants in Syria by freezing the assets of some Syrian government officers including two brothers of President Bashar al-Assad. By saying this it is intended to mean that the use of force by the Syrian Security forces against the demonstrators is justified. The casualties in the action by the security forces should be thoroughly investigated. The Bashar al-Assad government should order the security forces to avoid brutal force and firing. In the modern world, a number of measures are available to control the demonstrators without inflicting any casualty. Then why is it not being utilized in Syria, when the protestors and opposition are swearing that the demonstrations were peaceful. If there is any truth in the claims of the opposition then how did such huge casualty happened? This should be investigated, but whatever is happening in Syria is an internal matter of the country. President Bashar al-Assad should also not forget that the protesters are their own people. Rather than using unnecessary force against them they should be invited for negotiations. He should accept their legitimate demands, even if it is related to his relinquishing power. The whole process should be based on negotiations. The government should not use unnecessary force and the external powers should not have the right to intervene in the internal matters of a country. Otherwise, like Libya which is on the verge of civil war today, it would be Syria tomorrow and someone else later. It would become impossible for any country to live in peace and security. The world should come together in trying to avoid such situations.
The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 2 May 2011, Monday
2. NATO Action in Libya
The dangerous air-strikes in Libya by the US-led NATO forces continue. President Colonel Gaddafi and his family have been targeted in these attacks from time to time. Moreover, the rebels, in whose support the NATO actions are claimed to have been carried out, are themselves being continuously targeted. Dozens of rebel activists have been killed in the NATO attacks till now. The NATO united forces have till now killed one son and three grandsons of Col. Gaddafi. These NATO air-strikes were targeted on a building situated beside the Bab-al-Azizia Compound, which is supposed to be the command base of Col. Gaddafi. It was reported that at the time of these attacks, Col. Gaddafi was supposed to be visiting the place. However, the whereabouts of Col. Gaddafi at the time of these attacks could not be confirmed. It is not clear if he reached the building, although his 29 year-old son Saif-al-Arab and three grandsons were killed in these attacks. The statement issued by the spokesperson of the Libyan government Mr. Musa Ibrahim confirmed that the son and three grandsons of Col. Gaddafi were killed in these attacks. The explosion could be heard in far away areas. According to the spokesperson Col. Gaddafi and his wife were safe and they were not hurt in this attack. The building situated near the Bab-al-Azizia compound was partially damaged due to the explosion. The Libyan authorities said that three missiles were launched targeting this three-storey building. This is not the first time when the family of Col. Gaddafi was targeted in the NATO attacks. Col. Gaddafi himself remained safe in the missile attacks on the Bab-al-Azizia compound. These are assassination bids on Col. Gaddafi which could not succeed.
After the beginning of protests by the rebels in Libya, the US and its European allies, who are part of NATO as well, started their support for the rebels. The US now has announced a financial aid of 25 million dollars to the rebels while other countries like Italy and France are providing help by training the rebel fighters. This situation gives a clear indication that this united effort has been put to topple the Gaddafi regime. The US and other countries have themselves clarified, more than once, that they want to remove the Gaddafi rule and provide freedom and security to the people of Libya. This in itself is an intervention in the internal matters of Libya, but the way they are trying to kill Col. Gaddafi and his family members should be unequivocally condemned. It is completely against the international laws to target individuals and non-military camps even in a warring country. The US and its allies are, in the name air-strikes on Libya to help the rebels and provide security to civilians, violating the same international laws which they use to target other countries. The US and its allies have their eye on the oil wealth of Libya. The country has huge oil-reserves and the US wants to control these. The rebels have been incited and are being provided help for this purpose only. The Libyan capital Tripoli is constantly under attack and efforts are made to bring an end to the Gaddafi rule, which is now weakened due to these constant attacks. International laws are being violated contrary to the declared claim and it is unfortunate that nobody can stop this. This is a brutal action by the US and should be stopped immediately. Such actions to target an individual or a family to destroy it cannot be justified and it should not be allowed to continue.
The violation of international law is a serious matter in itself and the US can be brought to the International Court of Justice for such violations. The US cannot be allowed to trivialise the international laws with the help of NATO countries. The US should avoid double standards and stop its actions in Libya because no law on earth allows raging a war to destroy a family.
The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 2 May 2011, Monday
3. Death of Osama Bin Laden
After the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, the country will have to face challenges while answering some hard questions, particularly Pakistan’s honesty in taking action against the terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks is an important issue for India. Pakistan had denied the presence of Bin Laden in its territory; the world powers did not doubt its intelligence agencies and ISI, especially after Pakistan actively participated in the US alliance against terror. The US forces have killed Osama near the Pakistani capital in a high security area which has been termed as a major success in the action against terrorism. US President Barack Obama has launched his campaign for second term, handing a brilliant issue, announcing the elimination of the biggest terrorist in the world. On the hindsight of this announcement, there is an anxiety whether the killing of Osama weaken the network of terrorism? In the military campaign against terrorism in the aftermath of 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, its military that destroyed Afghanistan by bombardments and had claimed that Osama Bin Laden was killed in December 2001 in the mountainous region of Tora-Bora. Later, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and US President George W. Bush had indicated the killing of Osama in other such actions. Now this fresh announcement of killing of Osama Bin Laden and the festive atmosphere in the Western world including the US is indicative that the world was scared of Osama. The so called hero of Islamic world, Osama was made popular by the US while terrorism has appeared in different shapes with various roots. A huge intellectual section of population in the world terms American military activities as real terrorism. Terrorism in the name of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden took to such activities in reaction to the policies of the West after which the US has got a license to kill people in the name of fight against terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. Silence on behalf of the flag bearers of humanity on this is dubious. The world that thinks Israeli terrorism in Palestine or American terrorism in Libya as legitimate, has now taken a breath of relief, this relief may not prove long lasting because those who raise their voice against exploitation are not alone. The US is celebrating the end of Osama Bin Laden considering him as an individual, but this world will remain peaceful only if this celebration is permanent. It is important to realise the next action of the powers who have spread the network of Al Qaeda so that the celebrations on the killing of Osama does not bring some major untoward incident. US President Barack Obama has succeeded in taking the credit for getting rid of the world’s most wanted terrorist, but he should also think about the reasons for spread of networks of Al Qaeda. No doubt that the number of people who support Osama’s ideology has come down, particularly in the Arab world. Now the people are not coming out on the street shouting the slogan “long-live Osama’, but the number of people who hate the US has not come down. The US President should contemplate why the peace loving people on earth hate the US and its actions. If the civilized society of the US is happy about the killing of Osama then it should also express its sorrow over the killing of innocent people on the hands of the US. The world should also think about the mistake of supporting Taliban in Afghanistan in 1990s against the Soviet Union. The opinion about the ISI and Taliban after this killing of Osama has gained strength. The Indian stand on Mumbai attacks has also been strengthened, now the US and its allies should stop supporting Pakistan on eliminating terrorists.
It seems that the NATO forces are gradually succeeding in achieving their target. The Libyan government has said that the youngest son of Col. Gaddafi Saif al-Arab Gaddafi has been killed in a NATO air-strike, although Gaddafi himself remained safe. The official spokesperson of the Libyan government Musa Ibrahim confirmed that three grandsons of Col. Gaddafi were also killed in the attack on the residence of his son. According to the spokesperson, Col. Gaddafi along with his wife, friends and relatives was present in the house, but he remained safe. Confirming the incident, Musa Ibrahim said that this powerful attack was an assassination bid on Col. Gaddafi, which proves that the Western powers have no intention to establish peace in the country rather they want to destroy Libya. On the other hand, NATO has rejected the claim that Gaddafi’s family was targeted in this attack. The Canadian commanding officer of military alliance in Libya, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, said that “all targets in NATO attacks have been carried out on military targets, the aim of which has been to protect the Libyan civilians and densely populated areas from attacks by the Gaddafi government.” However, according to some analysts, if the news of killing of three grandsons is confirmed then it can create confusion among the members of NATO alliance about the objectives of the ongoing bombardment in Libya by NATO forces and Russia can also condemn the NATO for trespassing the UNSC mandate. One Russian lawmaker, Konstantin Kosachev, who speaks on foreign affairs of Russia, has criticised the attack on Tripoli in which three grandsons of Col. Gaddafi were killed. He said that “now more and more facts are indicating that the main aim of alliance against Libya is assassination of Col Gaddafi.”
Moreover, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said in Caracas that “there is no doubt now that orders were issued to kill Col. Gaddafi, this is another matter that others were killed in the attack...this is murder.” While the British Prime Minister David Cameroon said in an interview with the BBC that “the NATO and alliance policy in this regard is very clear, its target is to destroy Gaddafi’s military capabilities and protect the civilians which is in accordance with the UNSCR 1973.” NATO has claimed that the building where Gaddafi and his wife were said to be present has been known as command building, from where the whole military action against the rebels is controlled. It shall be clarified that there are differences among the NATO countries with respect to this action against Libya and only one-fourth of 28 of its members are directly participating in it, while others have confined themselves to the ‘No Fly Zone’ and ‘arms ban’ sanction on Libya.
The enthusiasm among rebels died down when they realised that the news of killing of Saif-al-Arab could be propaganda from the government. According to them, the news is not dependable because it was relayed from the Libyan TV. If this news is true then the chances of ending the war early are very less, because Gaddafi is a very stubborn keader and will not accept defeat even if all his family members are killed until and unless he himself is killed. Meanwhile after protests against killing of Gaddafi’s son and grand-children and attacks on the foreign embassies, the UN has decided to call back all its foreign employees from Tripoli, while Britain has asked the Libyan ambassador in London to leave the country within 24 hours. This decision was taken after attacks on the British high commission building in Tripoli by protestors. Britain, like many other countries, has pulled out its embassy employees from Libya. Italy has also criticised the attack on its embassy building in Tripoli.
The killing of Osama Bin Laden, who was nurtured by the US, by American soldiers has given way to a new debate. It is a world known fact that the US trained Osama and Al Qaeda to break Soviet Russia and when it achieved its goal it planned to destroy this trained group. Apparently, it could be safely assumed that the group which defeated the Soviet Russia would be very strong and in possession of huge arms and ammunitions. The US had provided special training to Al Qaeda and supplied it with appropriate weapons. It was necessary to destroy the group so that they did not become a danger for the US itself. So, 9/11 was planned and immediately after that Afghanistan was attacked with bombs by the US, which continues till now.
This drama around killing of Osama Bin Laden is not new. This drama had been played during the tenure of former President George W. Bush as well. What does the US wants to achieve by popularising the death of Osama is not clear. It seems that when a US President wants to achieve the support of its people, such stories are made out and popularised, otherwise who doesn’t know that an attack on the World Trade Tower and Pentagon was beyond the Al Qaeda’s capacity. This is the reason that no investigation report has come out which can confirm that the members of Osama-led Al Qaeda planned and executed the attacks on the American economic and military power base on 11 September 2001. This was something beyond imagination, but the way media propagated this unfortunate incident, people started believing that the Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Tower and Pentagon. The US took this opportunity to announce that it will destroy the Taliban government in Afghanistan and pledged to catch the Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, either dead or alive and bring him in front of the world. The ten-year hard work has now come to its conclusion and the American military succeeded in killing Osama. This aspect is worth taking note that Osama remained hidden from the US reach for ten years. Now, when Osama was killed in Pakistani territory, that too near the high security military training area, it also puts light on Pakistan’s reality. It had come to light several times in the past that Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, but he could not be taken into custody due to non-cooperation by the Pakistani authorities. This makes it clear that Osama had the protection of Pakistani government; else it was nearly impossible to remain hidden from the American intelligence agencies. Osama Bin Laden was a symbol of terror for the US and Europe, but there is a large section of people who do not think of Osama as a terrorist. Rather it thinks of him as an American creation. It is still to come out who was behind the 9/11 attacks. Some people think it as a handiwork of Zionist conspiracy, while others think that it was a tactics to abuse the Muslims, yet another assumption is that it was a US plan to destroy Taliban which was trained by them. These assumptions are strong, because attempts were made to brand the entire Muslim community in the world as terrorists and every ‘bearded and capped’ individual became a doubtful figure, which is still prevalent. It has been a part of history how the US could control the entire Muslim world by demolishing just two buildings. Afghanistan and Iraq have become a symbol of American terrorism. It has to be seen whether this American policy of targeting Muslims continues even after death of Osama Bin Laden.
Roznama Sahafat (Journalism Daily), Delhi Editorial, 4 May 2011, Wednesday
6. End of Osama Bin Laden
The insult I received in death, why did I not drown in a river
There would never have been a funeral nor there a grave..... (Ghalib)
According to reports, the dead body of Osama Bin Laden was thrown into the sea. Ghalib had only expressed this wish but it became a reality for Osama. Truly there was no funeral for him nor there any possibility of a grave. The kind of puzzle which surrounded the life of Bin Laden remained there in his death. Opinion is as varied as the number of people voicing them. Some are saying that he was killed long back and it has been announced now. Some even said that the person who was killed was an Osama lookalike and not Osama Bin Laden. Incidentally, such rumours were also common at the time of arrest of Saddam Hussein, which later proved to be just rumours. The announcement on the death of Osama was made by the US President Barack Obama himself, so it cannot be doubted. A coincidence is that Osama Bin Laden helped one US President to win election in his life, now his death can become a major boost for the re-election bid of another President. It is still fresh in the memories of people that when President George Walker Bush was in the fray for second Presidential term and his victory was very unlikely, a video-tape of Osama emerged in which he threatened another twin-towers like attack. Bush won from the brink of defeat and this time when Barack Obama has announced his candidature for second tenure, his position was also not looking very strong. Slowing market-economy, rising unemployment, declining American economy and the downfall of its puppet rulers in the Arab world were becoming a bone of contention for Obama Presidency. In such a situation he was in the need of a big boost which, according to analysts, the death of Osama can provide. Nobody can deny the fact that Osama Bin Laden had damaged the image of Muslims at international level. If the sinister propaganda, that Islam is a violent religion and if all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims, were popularised that the terrorist activities of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had a major role in it. Now when he is no more alive, it can be said that this millionaire from Saudi Arabia had been more a problem than virtue for the Muslims around the world. Osama Bin Laden was angry with the Saudi rulers because they are American puppets, but whatever he did throughout his life benefitted the US and did not do any good for the Muslims and Islam. After his death, it is a surety that the US will wind up its activities in Afghanistan and withdraw its forces. As he was killed not far from Islamabad, the allegation that he was hiding in Pakistan has also been nearly proved and howsoever Pakistan denies it is certain that Bin Laden was killed with the Pakistani military help. Lot of details and many layers are still not out in open, but what is certain is that Osama has created a place for himself in history, whether this place is good or bad would be decided by the history itself.
7. Alas, Osama would have been the Last Terrorist!
Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, who had become a symbol of terror for the world, was killed in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad in a secret American military mission. After the incident US President Barack Obama, in his address to the nation, proudly said that the US does whatever it determines to do. He said that he wishes to inform the people of the US and the world that the US carried out a mission in which the head of Al Qaeda who was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children has been killed. According to him justice finally prevailed. The US President in his address recalled the 9/11, that is, the unfortunate incident of 11 September 2001 when terrorists had killed more than 3,000 people in an attack on the twin-towers of World Trade Center in New York. He said that it was immediately confirmed to the authorities that these attacks were carried out by the Al Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden. This organisation, allegedly, announced a war against the US.
It is possible that Barack Obama achieved some of his goals by propagating the death of Bin Laden and through his address to the nation. For example, this can put a hold on his declining popularity inside the country and help him in the re-election bid for Presidency, or the US can present it as an excuse for withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan; but the questions that have been raised in the minds of people throughout the world due to his address on death of Osama, will be difficult to answer. How did the US know that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by the Al Qaeda led by Osama? If Al Qaeda carried out the attack and Osama Bin Laden was its master mind, then why Afghanistan was attacked and thousands of innocent civilians were killed there? Why Afghanistan was destroyed? No religion or constitution of the world allows for the execution of neighbours, relatives or fellow villagers. You not just turned Afghanistan into ruins but tried to malign the people of the same faith as fellow Afghans, although you claim to be the followers of Hazrat Eisa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) who propagated that if someone slaps you on your face offer the other side of the face. Why did the US acted against this teaching? If the goal was to execute Osama Bin Laden, judging by the way he was kiiled in a secret mission, it could have been done anytime. What was the need for a war, of attacking a country and killing thousands of innocent people? According to reports no American soldier was even slightly injured in the execution of this secret mission.
The day people of the US will start thinking about the ill-effects of this so-called war, it would be difficult for their leadership to answer. Why 1.3 trillion dollars were spent on killing just one person, a sum of money that could have helped the US economy in doldrums. It could have been used for paying back the foreign loans. It would have helped make the US proud in the entire world. On the contrary, the US has achieved bad name due to this ‘war on terror’ and huge number of its soldiers have been killed. The most unfortunate thing for us is that, we (India) had to bear the brunt of terror attacks due to this ‘war on terror’. Why our position on terrorism was never considered? Even today the US has only its interest in mind. We cannot celebrate the death of one individual; howsoever big terrorist he may have been. For us, the important thing is that terrorism ends, no more terror attacks occur after the end of Osama, he should prove to be the last terrorist.
Roznama Munsif (The Judge Daily), Hyderabad Editorial, 6 May 2011, Friday
8. Hamas Fatah Unity – A Historic Achievement
The saddened hearts due to the political chaos and trouble in the Arab world has got some peace and tranquillity due to the news of unity between two big factions of Palestinian politics: Hamas and Fatah. Otherwise, the whole Islamic world was in some kind of deep sorrow due to the news about chaos and protests in Islamic countries. Humanity, which was deeply distressed due to the political tremors in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan etc and due to loss of men and material in these countries, has rejoiced with this news. For the last four years the dispute between Hamas and Fatah benefitted the enemies of Islam and particularly Israel, but now as it has been confirmed that despite efforts from the enemies Fatah and Hamas have entered into an agreement, Israel and its guardians are saddened to the core of their heart. Israel has expressed its anger by stopping the transfer of taxation revenues to Palestinian Authority. The Israeli Prime Minister even said that Fatah will have to choose between Israel and the Islamic group, while its main guardian (the US) avoided any statement on the development saying that Hillary Clinton has talked to Netanyahu and the Palestinian Prime Minister. Although efforts to build bridges between Fatah and Hamas were started some two months, it was achieved now on which both the sides have expressed their happiness. History is a witness that whenever the Muslims came together on the basis of faith, putting aside their differences and made a united effort, they have achieved success, because Islam asks for unity and emphasises on avoiding the disputes and whenever Muslims have conformed to the commands of Allah, success has kissed their feet. As Hamas and Fatah leadership have decided to forget the mutual differences and have come together for the interest of the cause of Palestine, they certainly will succeed and the holy land of Palestine will become free from the enemies of Islam. The enemies of Islam are also well aware of this strength of Muslims; they also recognise that whenever this nation of people has come together they have rested only after completely eliminating the opposition from the world. This is the reason why the Israeli authorities are opposing this unity since the beginning and have always tried to create roadblocks for it. Fatah is being threatened that if it signs a unity deal with the Islamic group Hamas, it will put its links with Israel in danger, meaning Fatah is being warned that its unity with Hamas is against the Israeli and American interest. It may have to face consequences in the form of war, but all their efforts failed and the two groups signed the historical agreement of unity. According to reports, Musa Abu Marzoka signed on behalf of Hamas while Azzam al-Ahmad signed on behalf of Fatah. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas did not sign on the deal but supported the deal while addressing the joint conference (which was held in Egypt) and both termed it as a historical achievement.
The specialists and analysts who have deep understanding of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict think that it is an important step. It could benefit the people of Palestine. The foremost and most important benefit is that the bickering and infighting among Palestinians would end and united efforts for an independent Palestinian state could be made. Both the groups were losing due to internal trouble because this was diverting their attention in different directions which weakened their efforts. Now, when they have set aside their differences, they can focus on one point agenda (of an independent state of Palestine) and would be able to take on the opposition with full concentration. This agreement has not only delighted the people of Palestine but it is a matter of great bliss for the entire Islamic world because of their spiritual attachment to the holy land of Palestine as this was the land where the first Qibla is situated. This is the reason that it has been welcomed throughout the Islamic world. The self proclaimed lovers of humanity who give lesson of peace to the world are very angry with this agreement and efforts to break this unity have been started behind the curtain. So, it is important for the leaders of both the groups and the people of Palestine to respect this agreement and defeat the conspiracy of enemies (to put dispute between them) and together fulfil the dream of an independent state of Palestine. The well wishes of all the Muslims and all the good hearted individual are with them.
Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 7 May 2011, Saturday
9. The End of Osama Bin Laden
The US has claimed that it has killed one of its most dangerous enemies, known to the world as Osama Bin Laden. This news was first announced by the American President Barack Obama who, in an extraordinary address to the American people, told that under his orders a special team of American commandoes have, in an operation at a specific location in the Pakistani city of Abottabad, killed Osama Bin Laden. According to him, the team did face resistance but the commandoes showed extraordinary courage, discipline, intelligence and professional expertise in killing the enemy and took over the dead body. The US President also said that extreme cautions were taken so as not to put civilian lives in danger and, according to him, not a single American soldier was hurt in the entire operation. According to him, the efforts to catch Osama Bin Laden, either dead or alive, were going on for the past ten years because his life had become a symbol of terrorism. He was responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent human beings. Obama’s predecessor had also worked hard to catch him and he had himself ordered the CIA chief to catch Osama dead or alive immediately after taking charge of presidency and since then efforts were being made to reach his hideout. His hideout was first traced in August last year and the order to take action was given when it was verified and confirmed from all the sources.
One of the main aspects of this operation is that it was carried out by the American commandoes on a foreign soil, which is not part of the US. It certainly is an US ally in the war against terror but it is imperative to take its consent before any such operation. All the reports have unanimously declared it to be a completely American operation. The statement by the American President himself conveys that neither prior consent was taken from the Pakistani government nor was it informed about the information in advance; rather the Pakistani authorities were informed about it after the operation was successfully completed. This raises a major question; has the US or any other country has the right to indulge in such operations because it is like challenging the highest authorities of that country. This question was raised in Pakistan. Even though many in Pakistan have expressed surprise about this and it has strong reasons; is it possible for a foreign aircraft to enter into other’s territory without detection and in case any such attempt is made, is it possible that it would not be caught by the intelligence agencies? This is the reason that people are surprised that how is it possible to execute such an operation without taking Pakistani authorities into confidence? Although, the US is also saying that this was its own operation and the British and French sources are also saying that nobody else was part of this operation, a debate has started about it.
Another important aspect of this operation was that the site where it was carried out is located in the city of Abbottabad, which is just 40 km away from the Pakistani capital Islamabad. The compound in which Osama Bin Laden was reportedly staying at least since August last year, as per the US President Barack Obama, is at a distance of just one and half mile from Pakistan Military Academy, which in itself is quite surprising. According to some reports, a large number of retired military officials stay in this place, the entire operation was executed at arms-distance away from the Military Academy at Kakol. An even more staggering point is that the ‘most dangerous’ terrorist in the world was hiding in this place for the last nine months and nobody could know it? This and many other points are creating more questions which none are able to answer. The statements by Pakistani authorities and American leaders are also providing only partial truth; rather the picture has become more confusing due to contrary statements, what transpired on the night between 1 and 2 May would be ascertained only gradually.
The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad Editorial, 8 May 2011, Sunday
10. Hamas – Fatah Unity in Middle East
The Arab League has failed to pay attention to the role required from it in establishment of peace in the Middle East and in doing away with the growing tensions between regional factional powers. The signing of a unity agreement between two factions in Palestinian politics, Hamas and Fatah, in the Egyptian capital Cairo recently is undoubtedly a good effort in controlling the worsening situation in the Middle East. The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on this occasion that we have left behind the dark period of Middle East. The anger of Israel due to this unity between two strong groups is a reflection of its nature. The US reaction on the issue, as usual, was polite. The hostile violence which Hamas had to face from Israel after it took control of the Gaza Strip has not abated yet. The dream of a Palestinian state can be achieved only if the world powers show honesty in fulfilling their promises. The former President of PLO late Yasser Arafat had dreamt of an independent Palestinian state. The entire world is witness to the deceptive role played by the US in preventing the fulfilment of this dream. All the negotiations, either Oslo Accord or Camp David Talks, were made to fail at the last stage. Now the Hamas has entered into an agreement with the Fatah, pledging support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the Jewish state can put roadblocks in the way of achievement of this target, but the Jews will be forced to reconsider their policies after the increasing severity of people’s movements all over the Arab world. The Hamas and Fatah leadership has agreed for unity putting an end to their stubborn attitude. This could be because of the wave of people’s protests in most of the countries in Middle East. The world witnesses the success of people’s protest when it spread through the media. Two different groups in Middle East, Hamas and Fatah, have not made a joint effort for a long time in fighting the Israeli bloodshed in their area, but the two rival factions have also acquired some sense that in the era of globalisation they cannot keep their people in an atmosphere of fear for long, else the wave of public awareness in Middle East will take the land of Palestine into its influence, which can create problem for the world powers as well as Israel. The public awareness campaign has inspired the two Palestinian groups to come together. People have started to express their views in places where the culture of fear, hopelessness and disrespect prevailed till recently. The US, Europe and Israel are scared at the turn of events. That is why the US showed politeness while Israel only expressed its anger. There could be fear and helplessness hidden behind this anger because the land of Middle East has started witnessing awareness among its people. People of the Arab world were accepting the status-quo for the past some decades, but now the movement which started on the streets of Tunis has taken the lanes and by-lanes of Arab countries into its influence. So it was certain that the stand taken by the regional governments changes with respect to Libya, Yemen and Syria. The people have dared to speak against their rulers. They have challenged the long-standing status-quo demanding the right to political participation. Palestine is the most affected area in Middle East and if the people of Palestine become aware, it would be a challenge for Israeli existence. If Hamas and Fatah have decided to join hands, understanding the demands of time for the cause of their people, it can prove to be long-lasting and can provide a secure future for the people of Palestine. The wave of change in a crumpled society will prove helpful in breaking the status-quo. One thing is very clear that any group in any country cannot become strong without the support of its people. Perhaps Hamas and Fatah have also been able to realise the importance of this fact and their leaders have chose the path of unity. If both the groups continue to work for the welfare of their people then a number of problems will be solved without much difficulty. As far as the control in the Gaza Strip and West Bank is concerned then it would be necessary to hold free and fair elections in both the territories so that the authorities can work without any fear and can take independent decisions. A crumpled government cannot fulfil the aspiration of development in a society. The two groups of Palestine should try to become one after a new beginning in the chapter of Palestine which is an important region in the Middle East.
Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi Editorial, 10 May 2011, Tuesday
11. A Wrong Precedent in West
The US has gone so far in helping the rebels in Libya that not only the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is on its target it has also killed one of his sons and three grandchildren. Now it has decided to hand-over the frozen Libyan assets to the rebels so that they don’t have to face any financial problems in their effort to remove Gaddafi from power. Earlier, it had been reported that the US plans to re-start the oil plants in the rebel’s control and give the profit to the rebels. Weapon supply was also considered, while Britain sent its military officials for training the rebels. Most active in this regard was France, which even recognised the rebel government. The motive of all these measures is to weaken and destabilise the Gaddafi government to pave way for transfer of power. The US had an eye on Libya’s foreign investments since the rebellion struck Libya in February, which, according to the Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim, is more than 4.1 billion dollars. As the rebels captured eastern Libya and civil war started in Libya, the US first froze an estimated 3 million dollar in Libyan asset in the country but it could not utilise it as per the existing laws. So, in a meeting with the Libyan rebels in Rome, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, referring to the existing laws, tried to convince the rebels that it will make amendments in the laws to hand it over to the rebels. However, Libya rejected this terming it as piracy adding that it is like the pirates looting the ship of a country in the seas. It will certainly affect the international financial system.
The people who are campaigning for transformation of power in Libya were termed as democratic in the beginning. But the moment it moved forward it became very clear that unlike the movements in Egypt and Tunisia, it is an armed movement. Rather than peace, a civil war is being promoted in Libya. It’s not a movement for democracy but an armed rebellion. Even then the West is portraying them as if they have a legal status; they deserve all international help and even recognition as government of a state. On the other hand, a government which has a legal status, is recognised by the UN and all the countries of the world, that had been a non-permanent member of Security Council more than once and is party to several international agreements is being given a step-motherly treatment. It is being disregarded just because it faces a rebellion at home. There has been no referendum in the country nor has it been divided as per a UN resolution; then why the rebels were recognised as a government and why are they being provided all kinds of support? Whatever the US and other Western countries are doing in Libya may give them some financial benefit but they are establishing a wrong example and precedent which will cast its dangerous effects on the world. Any weaker nation will be scared of foreign investment; the current international investment trends will be affected, nobody will dare to make investments in powerful and big countries, because it may harm its investments in case of any internal problem in the country. But the question is who will raise a voice against American, British and French intervention. The US has become completely uncontrollable after attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. It has started behaving in a whimsical manner. The UNSC has become completely subjugated to its wishes and the silence of international community can pave the way for any other country the way it had for Libya after Iraq and Afghanistan. The time now is not to keep quite or for criticism but to unite against the whims and fancies of the US. That is the only way of escape for the entire world.
Translated and Compiled by Md. Muddassir Quamar Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Email
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