TOWARDS PEACEFUL WORLD

Prime Minister Narender Modi deserves all kudos for grasping the opportunity to attempt a restructuring of relations between the subcontinent and the Gulf on a larger spectrum and specifically between India and the UAE. Though PM’s first visit in 2015 assumed extraordinary significance, yet the present visit too is no less significant as it will go a long way in strengthening the ties for which the foundation was successfully laid in 2015. In view of the new order of terrorism emanating in the form of ISIS from the Persian region, it could have far reaching destructive impact upon the global efforts to establish peace. Modi has been crystal clear in conveying India’s concerns over the violent and barbaric extremism across the globe and its strong commitment to jointly combat the sources of terrorism in the subcontinent and the Middle East. What could be termed as an unprecedented achievement is that in an apparent reference to Pakistan, India and the UAE today condemned the efforts, including by states, to support and sponsor terrorism against other nations or to use it as an instrument of state policy. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system as per the joint statement issued at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the UAE. It was encouraging to find the two leaders agreeing that extremism and terrorism cannot be defeated by use of force only, and acknowledging that there is need for a holistic approach, which includes disrupting the use of web and social media for promotion of extremist; preventing the use of religious centres to radicalize youth and recruit terrorist cadres. Undoubtedly the joint statement on terrorism especially the state sponsored terrorism has sent a strong and effective signal to those fiddling with peace across the world especially in the Indian sub-continent and the Gulf nations hit by extremism and terrorism. During his three nation tour the Prime Minister also witnessed the laying of foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi terming the temple as a bridge of harmony. The temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE and its construction will be completed by 2020 when it will open to people belonging to any religious background. Going by the sequence of events of the PM’s previous as well as the present visit to Gulf it can be easily concluded that a strong foundation that had been laid for a new phase in India’s relations with a region considered critical as well as sensitive till date there is a substantial progress that is bound to enhance the possibilities of establishing peace in the Gulf as well as in the subcontinent. The strategic partnership with the United Arab Emirates already focussing on security cooperation including counter-terrorism indicates a paradigm shift not only on the Indian side but also on the part of UAE viz-a-viz two main significant factors that could go a long way in changing the course of events towards a peaceful world.