India can no longer afford to be a fence-sitter in the confrontation between Israel and Iran. We must deliver a stern message that Indias territorial sovereignty is inviolable. This is one conflict which will summon all of Indias diplomatic and pragmatic skills in what is going to be a strategic tightrope walk. Our government must do all it can to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
Breaking the code
The Congresss persistent violation of the model code of conduct,by repeated assertions of sub-quota for Muslims,cannot be brushed aside by the Election Commission (Now Beni defies EC,Trinamool attacks him,IE,February 17). Earlier it was Salman Khurshid who went against the EC and now it is Beni Prasad Verma. The Congress should send a strict message to its leaders.
Apropos Pratap Bhanu Mehtas Between anti and pro (IE,February 17),he rightly says that Delhi cannot afford to look at Iran,Israel and the US through the old prism. This should be read together with what Dennis B. Ross says in The talking cure (IE,February 17) that diplomacy should be given a chance in Iran because for all its bluster,there are signs that Tehran is searching for a way out. Enlightened self-interest is the guiding principle of any countrys foreign policy. Lately India is trying to follow that line more actively. India must not be dictated to by the US as far as our national interests and foreign policy are concerned. For America,right or wrong,Israels interests are vital,and the American Jewish lobby is very powerful and influential,particularly during elections.
Indias neutral stand on Israel-Iran tensions is the right approach. India has its own set of problems and cannot afford to take sides. If India antagonises Iran,it will be counterproductive in many ways for one,the oil prices will shoot up.
Apropos Between anti and pro (IE,February 17),for safeguarding its interests,India should judge Iran,Israel and the US independently. It should consider all sides and come to a right decision,without allowing itself to be played by any of them. Bilateralism on an equal footing and discretion should be the guiding principles of our foreign policy.
This refers to the editorial Art attacked (IE,February 17). Indians have no right to criticise the people of the Maldives and Afghanistan for destroying their ancient cultural symbols,because we as a nation fail to protect our own ancient cultural heritage.