India’s new diplomatic front
With the conclusion of recent much talked US-Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh comprising of Sunni majority, one thing is clear that the terrorism is just an excuse the real target was Iran, or the Shia Muslims from the start. A summit where 55 countries participated including India’s neighbor Pakistan.
US President Donald Trump addressed the summit by playing offensive against Iran, accusing Iran of spreading terrorism in the world and usual criticism of Iran’s hostility towards west since the beginning of cultural revolution in the Shia majority country.
While, representative from small countries like Bahrain, Indonesia were given chance to speak on the terrorism except for Pakistani PM. Earlier this week a report claimed that the Pak PM was not allowed to speak at the summit due to some undisclosed reasons but the fact that Pakistani PM went to summit & allowed its Ex-Army chief Raheel Sharif to head the coalition army against the Iran.
One thing is clear out of all this farce, The Saudi Kingdom has declared the war with Iran. Only thing that remains, whether it would be fought through proxies or a head on clash.
Where is India in all this? India has an official stand, that the matter between Saudi Arabia and Iran must be solved through peaceful means, not through violence.
India has historically take neutral stand because of the following reasons:
1: India has significantly large population of both sects, Shia and Sunni.
2: If India takes any sides, it might increase the instances of terrorism in country.
3: India has close relationship with Iran as well as Sunni countries.
4: Due to India’s neutral role, India can act as negotiator between the two, as both countries do not put much faith in west.
Looking at above reasons, India won’t be supporting any country or sect. But Should India not take benefit out of this rivalry?
It is big Opportunity for India to increase it’s influence in the region by making the both parties to come to the table & remove looming clouds of War. PM Modi has increased India’s influence in Saudi Arabia through his visit to Riyadh.
India is still dependent on Oil from middle-east, but now middle-east also depends on India due to fall in prices of Oil in the international market and India’s growing market. India arguably has more leverage than it has ever had in the past and it will continue to grow in future. While PM Modi improved its ties with Saudi Arabia, India has age long relations with Iran. India supported Iran and continued to purchased oil even defying sanctions on Iran.
India is a unique country, where large population of Shia Muslims live with Sunni Muslims without any instances of major conflict between two, peacefully with communal harmony. India sets an example to both countries. India can act as a bridge between two and help to maintain peace in the region. This move will increase the soft power of India to next level, if India able to pull off this difficult & tedious job as negotiator.