Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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Sir, In deciding not to accede to the United States' appeal for deployment of its troops in strife-torn Iraq, India has truly asserted its sovereignty. The whole world was looking forward to India's response to the American blandishments. A haphazard deployment of our soldiers in a war-ravaged country, where the people are up in arms against the aggressor, would have impaired India's interests.
While launching its attack on Iraq, little would the superpower have believed that it would be hoist with its own petard.
Sir, The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, should be praised for taking a firm decision against sending troops to Iraq in quick time, during the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security. Decisions like this should always be based on value system rather than cost benefit analysis. We need to think about the plight of our soldiers shedding blood on a foreign land.
The only driving force for Indian soldiers is love for the nation and protecting it from enemies. Why should they be risking their lives for a cause that serves the exclusive interests of the United States and the United Kingdom?
Sir, Opting not to send its troops to Iraq is in fact an assertion of independence in the matter of foreign policy by the largest democracy in the world. It is a blow to the U.S.' perception that the developing countries can be taken for granted. It would have been a diplomatic blunder to tow the U.S. line on the pyre of our value-based relations with the Arab countries.
The decision is a judicious mix of realpolitik and ideology.
Himanshu Kumar Singh,
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