COLOMBO: Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has suggested that India, China and Russia act as a counterpoise to the United States-led West to ensure peace and security in the world.
In his keynote address at the Sri Lanka Army organized international seminar on “National Security In The Context of Emerging Global Threats” here on Tuesday, Kazai said that there are only two ways in which world peace can be ensured. The first is to establish morality in international relations. The second way is to ensure a balance of power so that no one party is able to take the law into its own hands with impunity.
In this context, he suggested that the present world order, in which there is only one Super Power, be converted into a bipolar order. The US and the West could be kept in check by a new group of emerging nations such as India, China and Russia, he said.
Karzai traced the history of Afghanistan to illustrate what could happen to a peaceful country if outside powers interfere with it in their pursuit of their “narrowly-defined national interests.”
The Soviet bid to impose communism on the traditional Islamic society of Afghanistan in the 1970s, had led to resistance which was aided and abetted by the US and Pakistan. The US-Pakistan alliance exploited religion to gather support for themselves in their bid to throw the Soviets and communists out. Karzai acknowledged that he too was among 500,000 Afghans who fled to the West and later supported the anti-Soviet Taliban.
However, Islamic Taliban proved to be equally disastrous for the country. Taliban became a tool in the hands of a neighbor (Pakistan). It also gave rise to conflicts based on ethnicity. The US, which had withdrawn from Afghanistan, came back again to quash Taliban after 9/11 had brought Islamic terrorism to its very doorstep. However, the US’s efforts were half hearted as it turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s sponsorship of Taliban.
Karzai said that it is time nation states realized that pursuit of narrow national interests, using every means including religion and ethnicity, will only engulf all nations in terrorist violence.
In his presentation, Prof. Christopher Coker of the London School of Economics said that world peace is being threatened by a weakening America, financial crisis, climate change, inequalities, and the rise of revisionist states which exercise power without responsibility.
America is still the world cop, but it not as effective as it was before as it is not able to stamp out terrorism, Coker said. In fact, new terrorist groups like the ISIS have come up despite America’s spending trillions of dollars on fighting Islamic terrorism.
Climate change is causing economic deprivation, which in turn causes social and political anger.
And last but not the least, “revisionist” states could emerged to challenge the world order through the crass pursuit of narrow nationalistic interests, Coker warned. Putin’s Russia is an example of a revisionist state, he said. Russia under Putin is pushing its case against its rival, the US, and its neighbors which step out of line. The revisionist power exercises power without responsibility. Russia is doing just that. China could follow suit, Prof.Coker warned.