India can help stabilize South Asia

New Delhi: Coming from a country that was one of the first victims of .. terrorism, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is acutely aware of its destructive power. That’s the reason, on his first visit to India in 25 years, Mubarak is calling for a greater role by India in ensuring that terror wracked Pakistan and Afghanistan emerge as stable nation states.

Indeed, the stability of these two nations is crucial for the security.. Mubarak said during an interaction. “Innocent victims of terror are everywhere. In India, we lost the Gandhis, Indira and Rajiv. In Pakistan, we lost Benazir Bhutto. In Egypt, we lost Sadat just to mention a few examples, he said.

Mubarak, who is here on a three-day visit to receive the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Internation Understanding, said tere ought to be a renewed push in the gloal war against terror, this time under the rubric of the United Nations and not necessaritly led by Washington. “We need a global concerted effort to wwin the fight against terrorism worldwide, he said.

And in this battle, Mubarak who became president in 1981 after Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood at a Cairo parade, sees a large role for India. “Security in Asia, as in other regions, is made by the collective combined roles of its key players. When it comes to Asian security, India is certainly an important big figure in this equation, he said in the interviews.

However, wheil seeing Pakistan and Aghanistan as the foci of terror, Mubarak warned against pretending there weren’t other lurking dangers.

Suppose the Taliban join a peaceful national reconciliation process, we all hope they do, would that mean the end of violence and terrorism in Asia? What about Tamils (LTTE) and others? he asked.

Like India, Mubarak said Egypt too, as a large Arab nation, had aspirations for permanent Security Council seat. But since the two were in different geographical regions, there was no competition, and Cairo would support India’s bid.

However, I do not see it coming in the foreseeable future because of the well known position of the current P-5 (permanent) members, he said. The P-5 comprise US, Russia, France, Britain, and China.

Courtesy and Thanks: South Asian Observer, Friday, November 21, 2008, page- 15

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