IN what could be called a discriminatory and illogical step, the Trump Administration on Monday imposed sanctions on its NATO ally Turkey over its purchase of a Russian air defence system. Reacting strongly and very rightly to the US’ move, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is known for calling spade a spade termed the sanctions a hostile attack on his country’s sovereignty rights and defence industry.
Indeed the way the US or any other major power has the right to take requisite steps for the protection and security of its people, the same right of other nations especially the Muslim countries also need to be accepted openly. It is really surprising that whilst extremist and terrorist countries such as India and Israel which are imperilling peace and security in their regions have been allowed to make and sign big ticket defence deals, the Muslim countries on the other hand are being cornered and not allowed to make the necessary purchases for their defence and security. The list of Indian crimes is far bigger and it is now also purchasing the same defence system from Russia. The question is when the sanctions will be slapped on New Delhi. Turkey has proved to be a peace loving country which threatens no country in the region. Its top officials have also stated that its purchase of the S-400s was not a choice, but rather a necessity as they were unable to procure air defence systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms. Given these facts, we expect the new US Administration to reverse this mistake and sit with Turkey to sort out the issues through dialogue. Cordial relations are in the interest of both the countries. Washington should abstain from taking steps that fuel anti US sentiments in the Muslim Ummah. It is also for Muslim countries to move towards achieving self reliance in defence production. Especially Pakistan, Turkey and Iran should join hands and build a robust defence industry that caters to all their defence requirements.