Friday, February 28, 2014

Syrian Crisis and Pakistan's Policy Shift

What is Syrian Crisis?
The unrest began on 15 March 2011, with popular protests that grew nationwide by April 2011. These protests were part of the wider North African and Middle Eastern protest movements known as the Arab Spring. Syrian protesters at first demanded democratic and economic reform within the framework of the existing government. In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprising and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of military sieges, the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.
In 2013, Hezbollah entered the war in support of the Syrian army. The Syrian government is further upheld by military support from Russia, which it stepped up in the winter of 2013-2014, and Iran, while Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United States transfer weapons to the rebels.

This crisis started with a very simple demand of democratic rights for the public. Government failed to comply with. Political emprisonment and killing of protests triggered violent civil war.

International Division:
Syria is Iran‘s only Arab ally. Syrian alliance with Iran is the main reason that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and the US are hedging against the Assad regime. Turkey has provided shelter to Syrian opposition particularly the Free Syrian Army. Turkey has also provided refuge to a large number of Syrian refugees. In June 2012, a Turkish jet was shot down by Syrian army for alleged violation of its air space and in another incident in October 2012 there was an exchange of artillery fire on the border.
British and France are in favour of arms supply to rebels while other countries in EU oppose the idea. UK and France want an military intervention but Germany is opposed to it. Syria enjoys strong support form Russia. China and Russia opposed to military intervention in Syria. Both countries have vetoed Security Council resolutions on Syria.

Pakistan's Policy on Syria:
There are many factors involved when policy makers emerge country's foriegn policy. We have to safeguard our interests, and our interests are safe when we stand along with other friendly countries in the world. We have friends on both sides. Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the one side of Syrian divide and China on the other. Pakistan has been neutral on the issue but now our friendly countries are asking our support and active role in resolving the cirisis.

Most of our friendly countries are on the same page. Most most of them believe that change of  regime in syria is the only solution to this cirisis. Almost all other resolves are exosted. More than 140,000 people have been killed in the crisis. Humanitarian aspect of this problem demands to come up with some active foriegn policy. Pakistan should take the stance which is in Pakistan's best interest and which can bring peace in syria.

If we decide to take side of our friends then most probably they might demand us to provide military support of any kind. If this happens at any stage then we should consider the fact that we already have been facing backlash of interfarence in Afghanistan. We must consider all pros and cons of our decision. We are already on the verge of collapse in many aspects of our national life. We can not afford any new ventures which compomise our national wellbeing.

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