Ghazanfar A Garewal
THAT the policies of US and Europe have failed to bring peace in the Middle East is a wake-up call for the Muslim world. The Middle East is ablaze; it is torn by civil wars, proxy wars, terrorism and geo-political instabilities. Middle East has become the epicentre, which is sending shockwaves all over the world. To bring peace to the world, peace must prevail there, in the Middle East. Terrorism, sectarian conflicts, proxy wars and civil wars, which now define Middle East are symptoms not the causes of underlying maladies. They have been long in making. Both internal and external factors brought the region to this abyss of hell.
Dictatorships and their political governments are responsible to take corruption to the suffocating level, which finally erupted in the form of Arab Spring. The popular discontent gave impetus to organisations like Muslim Brotherhood, violence rioters and Islamic insurgents. Internal factors fuelled the discontent among the people but external factors unleashed those forces, which are now causing havoc not in the region but in the world.
Mr Sykes’ and Monsieur Picot’s cartography has, indeed, fashioned the patterns of conflicts in the region. Ignored not resolved, Palestinian conflict was shelved. Carpeting an issue often makes it stronger and now it has become a motivational factor for majority of the terrorist outfits and a cause of their extraordinary recruiting appeal. America’s unilateralist policies in Iraq sow the wind that were later reaped into whirlwind; Shia-Sunni conflict, proxy wars and ripped societal fabric. Europe and America’s inexpedient haste in throwing “not favourite’ heads of the state during Arab Spring has given momentum to the cataclysmic forces which are unstoppable now. In the wake of Arab Spring, there was no coherent strategy to stabilize the region. Even Europe missed the same opportunity then. America’s post-9/11 policies towards the Middle East are not designed to mitigate its problems, let alone end them.
The US and Europe totally ignored the socio-cultural fabric of the region which, when was disturbed unleashed those forces which ripped apart the region. It appears they were unable to stop let losing of the forces which triggered proxy wars. It gives the impression as if they were not able to end civil wars, bring the hostile parties at negotiating table and foster peace process in the region. It is evident that they are not willing to engage in the region for welfare and betterment of the peoples of the region. It’s natural. After all, they are foreigners. It is not surprising either as and they are alien to the socio-political intricacies of the region.
To put in other words, the great powers have failed to manage the peace in the region. Often tried military option is not working either; Daesh is still posing itself as an uncontrollable monster. Even if the new US government decides to divert from Obama’s distanced engagement, its moves are likely to oscillate between step-up and step- back in the region. Europe is busy in resolving its difference in the wake of migrants and refugee crisis. The Middle East, today, is at slippery slope to hell and there is no help around. There is no help around but the region awaits peace.
It is time that Muslim world resolves its differences on its own. Cooperation among Muslim world never have been more important than it is now. There have been signs that the regional players have realised the importance of reconciliation of differences between them. Ryadh-Tehran rift in the wake of Nimar-al-Nimar’s execution was bridged with sagacity. Iranian President, in his recent visit to Pakistan, said that Iran was ready “to do anything’ to restore its relations with Saudi Arabia for promotion of progress and prosperity in the Muslim world. A regional institutional mechanism has to be devised in order to give impetus to the forces much needed for reconciliation and cooperation in the whole region. These efforts of reconciliation should be broadened. Time is calling for reinvigoration of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC.
— The writer teaches at National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.