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Syria: convergence of interests

September 12, 2013

THE Syrian conflict has raised many questions, among other things, on the credibility of Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda. One wonders if the convergence of interest of the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Al Qaeda is a mere quirk.

Equally important are the assumptions about the next target country on the American hit list.

Is it going to be Iran for its bold stance on its uranium enrichment? Or, is it going to be Pakistan because of American fears on the former’s nuclear arsenals’ safeguard issue as revealed by Edward Snowden, the NSA fugitive?

Surely, Pakistan is a nuclear power with one of the best armies in the world, but, unfortunately, it has a grimy record. Notice, for instance, Dr A.Q. Khan’s confessions. Furthermore, Pakistan is a politically destabilised country with deep-rooted militancy having state patronage. Any Saudi-Israeli-backed American adventure in Syria will further widen the sectarian schism in Pakistan.

In my opinion, the Syrian issue and Snowden’s revelations should serve as a wake-up call for Pakistan.

Since there has been a major shift in international relations, Pakistan should reshape its blinkered cold war-era foreign policy. Given the myopic nature of the country’s leadership, I am afraid this might remain an elusive dream.

Finally, the UN Security Council must not be bypassed at any cost. There must be fair and transparent inquiries into the claims by the US and its allies about the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Bashar al-Assad regime.


Double standards

NEITHER the 1925 Geneva protocol nor the convention on the chemical weapons authorises any alien invasion to punish the perpetrators.

Even if the allegations are nothing but true, the UN Security Council is the only authorised body to determine if the Bashar al-Assad regime should be sanctioned for the alleged use of chemical weapons.

A military strike without the Security Council’s authorisation, no matter how limited, will augment the sectarian violence and will engulf all neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon.

In the light of the statement by retired air force Col Rick Francona, it was established that the Reagan administration knew about Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical agents on Iranian soldiers and Kurds, but it preferred to remain a silent spectator. America with its self-righteous philosophy has turned the Middle East into a war zone.