Egypt and The Muslim World

egypt-crisisBy Brigadier (Retd) IftikharAyub Khan

The senseless killings of the civilians by Egyptian Armed Forces reminds me of three Pakistan Army brigadiers who refused (and preferred to resign) than to fire at the civilians during agitations at Lahore that ultimately saw the demise of ZA Bhutto. And till to date Pakistan Army is holding this tradition. Well we are not comparing the two Forces i.e. one that has become a bane for a country as big as India and the other lives under shivers of a country as small as Israel, but to analyze the role of the Muslim world as to handling of Egyptian crises. Realistically speaking and in line with the concept of Ummah the Muslim world should have created environment where Muslim Brotherhood of Morsi and Sisi’s military could have coexisted peacefully. But realism is what prevails in the world and idealism is a fool’sexpectations. Every country and government has its own interests as against religious orientation, democracy, human rights, people’s government, Ummah etc. Muslim world is not different than the rest. Trend of governance in the Muslim world is dictator or monarchy driven.Thus Arab Spring became a bane for most of the Arab monarchies. Some monarchies played a double role e.g they supported change of government in Syria and Yemen but fought tooth and nail to support monarchy for example in Qatar.

The West especially US supports despots/monarchs vis a vis a democratically elected governments as it is easy to manipulate monarchs under the garb of human rights, unilateralism, democracy etc.  Saudi Arabia which was once considered to be a figurehead for the Ummah is time and again failing in its responsibilities to mitigate volatile issues faced by the Muslim world. In Syria it is arming the Sunni and Islamist groups against the Syrian Government i.e. giving impetus to Shia – Sunni conflict to the scale never seen before; to the fullest satisfaction of US and Israel. In Egypt House of Saud is supporting a despot against a democratically elected government; and we thought only the West is hypocrite. Mursi of Egypt was more interested in sectarian harmony and that was enough motivation for him to visit Iran against the chagrin of the West; especially US and Israel.

Moreover Saudi Arabia as well as Jordan took a democrat Egypt as an antidote to their respective monarchies, as the seeds of democracy may spill over in these countries as well. In the strife to safe guard US/West and its own interests the House of Saud has thoroughly exposed itself and has been sufficiently marginalized even in the Sunni world. Through a process of introspection the Pakistan Government must take a stand that is in the best interest of Pakistan may it be on Syria, Egypt, Iran – Pakistan gas pipeline, revival of RCD concept etc. A stand now by the democratically elected Government of Pakistan will not weaken it vis a vis US-Saudi nexus but would strengthen Pakistan against any future threats to democracy and people of Pakistan.

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