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By P. S. Suryanarayana
Diplomatic sources told this correspondent that the political fissures within the NAM forum on the issue at this stage were traceable to the contentions of two or more schools of thought.
At least one of them was associated with the general line of thinking within the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), which forms a significant segment of the NAM. In one sense, the OIC appeared to hold the balance of opinion on the anti-terror issue within the non-aligned forum at this juncture. The general refrain within the OIC sub-group was that the new anti-terror mantra was being used by some powers to target activists of a particular faith, whether or not this marked the beginning of the clash of civilisations as postulated by Huntington before he updated the notion.
Delegates said the OIC would want the NAM to steer clear of this danger. Within the OIC, nuances surfaced among the views of the Arabs and those of the others.
The NAM's unresolved differences did not degenerate into an open India-Pakistan clash. However, the delegates from several countries outside South Asia saw the delay over the anti-terror formulation as the result of trench warfare of the diplomatic kind between India and Pakistan.
Although no head-count was taken of those echoing the views of either India or Pakistan, or indeed the larger OIC, which includes Islamabad, there was a general dividing line between the direct victims of more or less organised international terrorism and the others, whose experiences were not comparable even if some of them were not entirely immune to acts of terror.
Countries such as the Philippines and Singapore were reckoned to have supported the Indian position, either openly or in subtle ways behind the scenes.
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