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1-28 February 2014        30 Rabiul Awwal-27 Rabiul Akhar 1435 Hijri

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 with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 1 February 2014, Saturday
1. Equally Dangerous
Israeli security experts believe that any resolution to the Syrian crisis should take into account the existing regional balance of power. In other words, it should not adversely affect the current power alignments in the region; meaning, Israeli supremacy has to be maintained. The solution should not become a roadblock in realization of the long-held Jewish dream. That is why they are emphasizing that lesser evil has to be supported, that if Bashar al-Assad is a threat, the groups fighting against him are a bigger threat. The US and European countries who are supporting the rebels should ensure that they do not compromise on Israel’s security. This according to them should be the bottom line of all peace efforts. Therefore, such efforts should be constantly evaluated for any detrimental effect on Israel. More importantly, Israel should not depend on one player rather keep a view of all players involved in the crisis. They should have contacts with Assad regime but should not be completely unaware of activities of the rebel groups even if they are not dependable. The same strategy should be adopted in other cases as well.

These experts argue that the US and Europe face similar dangers as Israel, that is, their interests converge. According to Israeli intelligence agencies, Bashar al-Assad is a lesser danger in current circumstances. The Islamists who are fighting Assad are a bigger and real threat. Hence, the US and European countries should support non-Islamist opposition so as to control the Islamist groups. They claim that the European intelligence agencies have an idea about the situation. They understand that those citizens of European countries who are fighting in Syria will become a threat for internal security in these countries once they return home. They also fear that the Syrian crisis can spread to other countries in the region because they are vulnerable which would mean compromising the interests involved with these countries. Thus, according to these security experts, the US, Europe and Israel should make a united strategy to deal with the crisis in Syria.

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 10 February 2014, Monday
2. Bloodbath in Egypt
The bloodshed that started in Egypt after the overthrow of democratically elected Morsi government continues. According to latest reports many people were killed in a military operation against fighters. Many of those killed are reported to be not associated with the group known as Al-Maqdis. The current disposition in Egypt like its predecessors is targeting the Muslims Brotherhood and its sympathizers. It fears that the Muslims Brotherhood will again succeed in coming to power through democratic process, thus it has to be weakened.

It was due to people’s power that the previous authoritarian regime was compelled to leave while a democratically elected president took office. The Morsi government, however, was overthrown within a year. The remnants of Mubarak regime were at the forefront of conspiracies against the Morsi government because it was hurting their interests. These people aligned with the military and started propaganda against the government and organized protests to claim that it has failed to deliver on people’s expectations. It has become clear that these propaganda protests were just a façade; it was used as a tactics to remove the government. The supporters of Mubarak in Egyptian intelligence were behind the conspiracy and the military aptly aligned with them.

It is an irony that a democratically elected president was removed and has been jailed while serious charges including terrorism have been levelled against him. Morsi supporters are being killed as in the past during Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak times. It seems that Morsi’s mistake was to take a firms stand against Israel while extending support to the Palestinian cause. It was also guilty of preparing the Egyptian constitution in the light of Islamic principles. This was not liked by the US and Israel and they started working towards removal of the Morsi government through their contacts in the military and intelligence.

The whole idea was to revise the Egyptian constitution to allow concentration of power in the hands of rulers while removing all aspects of Islam from it. The constitution that has been drafted now gives unprecedented powers to the military and compromises on the freedom and rights of the people. Egypt will now go back to an authoritarian system, and Sisi’s decision to contest presidential elections confirms the end of dwindling hope for democracy. Mubarak who is undergoing treatment in a military hospital has endorsed the candidature of Sisi indicating the future of democracy in Egypt.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email 

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy.