Monday, March 21, 2011

India 'regrets' Western intervention in Libya

New Delhi: India took a serious view of the military intervention in Libya on behalf of the rebels on Sunday morning, and said that it “regrets the air strikes that are taking place.”
A statement from the foreign office on Sunday tried to adopt a neutral stance with the overall developments. It did not support either the rebels or the country’s government led by Muammar Gaddafi. It said, “India views with grave concern the continuing violence, strife and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya.”
Independent observers agreed with the government’s stance. Former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra said that India had responded correctly by keeping out. “There is no confusion in the Indian stance. The confusion in the situation in Libya,” he said.
He said that the intervention of the ‘great powers’ in the affairs of another country is a folly. Asked if India was missing the opportunity to support the peoples’ movements, he commented wryly that the ‘so-called peoples’ movements’ were not entirely domestic events, and that western countries were indirectly assisting them.
Former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal said that India acted prudently and in its own national interests by not voting along with the US, Britain and France in the UN Security Council mandating military intervention. He said unlike the Indian vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which was a mistake, this time around India played it correctly.
Sibal said that the western countries were inconsistent in their stance with regard to democracy. He said that as many people died in Bahrain as in Libya, but the west did not object to Saudi Arabian troops to enter Bahrain to quell the protests.
“The communique issued at the end of the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) meeting in Delhi recently has made it clear that the three countries did not favour foreign intervention in the affairs of another country.”
He said that the western countries did not hesitate to do ‘business with dictators” when it suited them, and there was patent contradiction in the Western avowals of commitment to democracy when neither Saudi Arabia nor even Pakistan meet the test.

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