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16-31 May 2014    16 Rajah-1 Shabaan 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

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 20 May 2014, Tuesday
1. Another Setback for Arab Spring
The suicide by an unemployed graduate in Tunisia in December 2010 had shocked Tunisians to rise against their government. The people were suffering at the hands of government policies and came out to protest against unemployment and poverty. The protests grew so strong that President Ben Ali had to resign and flee. The fall of an authoritarian regime in an Arab country sparked similar protests and demonstration in the entire Arab world, which led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh too had to resign while Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi was killed. The situation in Syria has also remained vulnerable since the outbreak of unrest giving an impression that President Assad will have to go but he continues with his hold on power.

The protest movements in Arab world that came to be known as ‘Arab Spring’ was expected to change the face of the region for good but it remained a pipedream as soon the situation turned for the worst. Violence and bloodshed gripped many parts of the region leading to huge loss of life. A million people have been killed in Syria, while a certain group is being targeted in Egypt will all its leaders and members either arrested or forced to go underground. The situation in Yemen is far from peaceful while Libya has witnessed severe turmoil after Qaddafi.

The situation in Libya is worst with no central authority and militias that were armed to fight against Qaddafi holding power bases in different localities. Governance has disappeared while people are being targeted based on their tribal and regional associations. Thus, talks about democracy in Libya will remain futile until peace is achieved and some sort of central authority and governance are established. The propaganda for democracy in Libya has proved to be a scheme to remove Qaddafi who was acting against the interest of people who wanted to exploit Libya’s natural resources. The society has split in the absence of political authority or a figure that unite the fighting tribes. The way former army general Khalifa Haftar-led fighters attacked the parliament and kidnapped seven members including the speaker reflects on the prevailing situation in the country. The Arab Spring has failed to bring any good to the people of Libya and current developments indicate that it will not be realized anytime soon.

An important question is that why the powers which intervened in Libya to support democracy immediately pulled out after removal of Qaddafi. A country that has remained under an authoritarian regime for such a long time could not have been transformed into a democracy overnight. In fact, these countries are equally responsible for the current mess in Libya as those who are fighting to grab political power without an iota of care for the life of common people. They should have helped the country to come back to normalcy and guided it towards democracy rather than exiting after removal of Qaddafi. It is also a responsibility of Libyans to understand that they will have to work together towards putting in place a functional and representative government then only they can hope for peaceful transition towards democracy.

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.