By Farida Tareen : –
The fast occurring events in Far East have attracted the attention of entire world to this continent. Meanwhile three events are of utmost importance to be pondered over. First, Saudi king Shah Salman has peacefully ascended the throne. Secondly, Obama and Israel have come face to face on the issue of Iranian nuclear programe as a result of Israeli Prime minister, Natanyaho’s historic speech in American lower house therefore Iran and P5+ 1 will finalize a nuclear settlement this month. Third, Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan and turkey are engulfed in turmoil. These events demand a deep glance over the situation in Far East.
Shah Salman, the 6th son of Abdul Aziz bin Saud, is the new king of Saudi Arabia. He took charge at the age of 79 and immediately made an important announcement regarding Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al Saud. A deputy Crown Prince Shahzada bin Naef, has been elected for the very first time from the third generation of Al-Saud. This is verily the first step towards transfer of power towards new generation. Shahzada Naef is currently interior minister and is being trained in governmental affairs.
Far East is victim to great unrest due to extremism and unnecessary encroachment of Militant groups but credit goes to Saudi Arabia that it did not let itself engulfed by the unrest prevalent in other Far Eastern countries. Two of the most sacred institutions are in Saudi Arabia and if it is engulfed by turmoil, the entire Muslim world will feel its pain and then its fool to expect any defense from OIC. Despite being the wealthiest country, Saudi Arabia is also the most influential in Arab world and the reign of leadership of the latter is with it. Before this, Jamal Nasar of Egypt had emerged as the leader of Arab world but his failure in 1967 and 1974 Arab-Israel war compelled Arab world to rethink its policy. Shah Faisal emerged as leader during this period and placed leadership of Arab world in Suadi Arabia’s hand. After controlling the reigns of Arab leadership, Saudi Arabia had to face many challenges and the first among them was Iran. Iran desired to spread its clout to other Arab countries after revolution. Similarly, Iran has overtly negated the blame of preparing atomic material. Saudi Arab considers Atomic program a menace for itself and other Arab countries. It does not want Iran to build up Uranium enriched materials capable of making nuclear weaons. Iran on the other hand also supports Syrian president Bashar-ul-Asad while Saudi Arab wants removal of Bashar’s government and all other Arab countries second Saudi.
World powers including America have been antagonist to Iran over nuclear issue and Saudi Arabia has been their ally on this front. A shift has been seen in American attitude over nuclear issue since the coming of President Rouhani into power. One of the reasons being forwarded in this regard is that Iran has become fed up of the recurrent economic sanctions and wants to bow under the pressure of its masses. Contrarily, Western world is of the view that inner situation of Iran is fast changing and its young generation wants the same independence as being observed by them during their study tour in America. This is a good omen for West who wants to see Iran modernized as per Western rules. Political analysts opine that Saudi Arabia can go for nuclear option if any deal is struck with Iran against Saudi Arabian wishes.
Saudi Arabia, despite being the greatest supporter and ally of America is also its competent in trade. Both are producing the same amount of oil equivalent to 9-10 million barrels per day. This rise in production was accountable for the decline in prices. America has probably become skeptical of Saudi leaders and its Islamic system due to this competition in trade. It wants a change in Saudi Arabian social system and regrets that Arab spring did not significantly affect Saudi Arabia.
American leaders have introduced such a bloody crisis in Far East which has not only destabilized Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunis and Somalia but the entire Arab world. Its effects are even felt in South East Asia particularly Pakistan and Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia has also been baseless blamed for its social system that is leading to extremism. Extremism and terrorism has been the outcome of Palestine problem. All Militants have been influenced by this issue is some or other way. Akhwanu-l-Muslimeen of Egypt has played a role of leader on this front who has always tried to bring a change in Egypt on the nuke of gun. Followers of Syed Qutub-ud- din have not yet forgotten his death sentence and that of his companion. Osama Bin Laden, Ayman-u-zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad also belonged to this group. Apart from this, Anwar Saadat was sentenced to death along with thousands of innocent people during parade of Independence Day in complete violation of Camp David.
A final deal regarding nuclear programe is soon to be struck down between Iran and P5+1 and political future of Far East will be shaped by this deal. Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, who is against any deal between Iran and P5+1, visited America early in March and addressed Lower house. His speech there was considered as criticism for the sake of criticism. According to International Institute of strategic studies, the possible deal on Iranian nuclear issue will be such that Iran will reduce its centrifuges from 9500 to 7000. Most of the centrifuges are installed in the Nantaz reactor while thousands of underneath centrifuges are in Firdu. Around 9000 centifuges are not yet workable and will be sealed under the surveillance of an international atomic agency. Apart from this, 8000 kg light enriched Uranium will be exported to Russia or converted to Uranium Oxide that does not allow possible enrichment. Since Atomic bomb can also be made with the help of Plutonium therefore Arak nuclear plant will be controlled not to produce more than one KG plutonium per month. These conditions will be implemented for ten years and will be relaxed later on but Iran will not be allowed enrichment capability enough for forming Atomic bomb. Iran wants immediate withdrawal of economic sanctions which can be duly accorded by President Obama using his discretionary powers.
Main issue of Far East is Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict which has totally engulfed Iraq, Syria and its nearby surroundings. Libya has been severely affected and needs complete book to be written on its afflictions. Bahrain is vulnerable to all sorts of sectarian riots while insurgents have become bold enough in Yemen that Prime minister had to flee from country. ISIS is haunting America and its allies in the guise of Al-Qaeda. An interesting but ironic study tells that the latter have fought three non state military groups of same nature in Islamic world for the last 14 years termed as counterinsurgency operation in military terminology and war against terror in common language. First they fought Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Far East, then Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan and thirdly ISIS in Far East. America and its army agree with the fact that it has not been able to completely dismantle any of the group. Now the question arises whether America does not have the required strength and determination or these groups are groomed for some other covert purposes. This is a question quite common in west too but two possible outcomes have turned around: Far East has turned a battle ground which is soon expected to spread to the entire world. People here are compelled to seek asylum elsewhere for the safety of their lives. Why the Security Council and its nuclear laden members have become silent spectators?
Islamic world in general and Far East in particular is at a critical juncture. It’s beyond doubt that secret forces from America to Russia have played their role in the formation of these Militant groups but Islamic world has also committed some mistakes in the form of giving free hand to these militants, using them for vested interests and applying dual policy against them. This attitude on the part of Islamic world has given west an opportunity to pretend that it is only Muslim world’s war. Muslims need to think above sectarian lines and wake up from their slumber.
(Writer is a political analyst and academic)
Disclaimer: Views expressed are not of The London Post.