Turmoil in West Asia, threat to regional and world peace: warns Hamid Ansari

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Hamid Ansari
Hamid Ansari

By MM Special Correspondent,

New Delhi: Delivering a lecture on current situation in West Asia, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has warned that turmoil, and unexplained happenings in the region have become a threat to regional and world peace. He also said that regional and big powers’ involvement has been fueling the turbulence in Arab lands.

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Ansari, who was speaking at the 2nd West Asia Conference organized by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, here on Tuesday, said that the turbulence in Arab lands was not immune to regional and extra-regional inputs.

“Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen were subjected to political and or material interventions from across national borders; some of these emanated from within the region, some from immediate or proximate neighbourhood, and some from great or big powers. The objective in each case was and is to prevent, retard or reverse the change sought by a visible majority of the public”.

The Vice President said that the situation at the end of 2015 was one of total disarray, a situation in which regional and global powers together with empowered local groups are engaged in political and military action in half a dozen different battlefields. He further said that the immediate concern of each is to prevail upon its adversary; little thought, if any, is being given to longer term consequences for the societies in the region. In the process, the rationale for the Turbulence takes the back seat, he added.
On the Arab spring, Ansari said it was quintessentially a secular mass movement to empower the people.

“Despite this backdrop of an emergent social reality, the Arab Turbulence of 2010-2011 was quintessentially a non-religious, secular, phenomenon that took the shape of a leaderless mass movement seeking dignity, empowerment, political citizenship, social justice and taking back the State and its institutions from rulers and their cronies”.

Describing the years 1948, 1967, 2003 and 2010-11 as turning points in the modern history of West Asian, he said the first inducted Israel into the region, the second and its aftermath put an end to political Arabism, the third marked the destruction of Iraq and its resulting immediate and remote consequences, and the fourth signaled the commencement of the so-called Arab Spring or Arab Turbulence that shook the authoritarian order in the region. As voluntary abdication from seat of absolute power is a rarity in human affairs and did not happen in West Asian nations.

Peeping into the history, he said Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916 that, together with the San Rimo arrangement of April 1919, brought into existence most of the modern states in West Asia.

“The new states in the region (with the exception of Egypt) lacked historical legitimacy and needed to create a national sentiment to reinforce the existing tribal, often fragmented, ties of cohesion within their territorial jurisdiction. This local patriotism was sought to be combined with amorphous and romantic sentiments of pan-Arabism some of which were reflected in the 1945 Charter of the Arab League”.

He said the sectarian, Sunni-Shia; conflict’s political origins can be traced to the geopolitical consequences of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and to the reported 2004 pronouncement of the Jordanian monarch.

He underlined the link between the citizen and the state through the mechanism of accountability is critical for domestic cohesion and internal security but has not been sufficiently in evidence in Arab lands.

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