It’s high time India had taken a much more active stand on the tense situation prevailing in Syria; especially after the repeated allegations made by the Syrian authorities that among the rebels, fighting against the Bashar-al-Assad’s regime in Syria, there are many “Jihadis” of Indian origin. Earlier this year in March Bouthaini Shabaan, the special envoy of Assad in India, claimed that there are jihadis of Indian origin that are fighting along with the rebels in Syria; and now the reports are coming that the Syria’s ambassador in India, Riad Kamel Abbas has claimed that in Syria alongside fighters from Afghanistan and Chechnya “Indian fighters” are also waging “Islamic Jihad”. Abbas has claimed that they have even caught a few Indian nationals “alive” and that Syria is ready to produce the evidence supporting these claims.
It’s right that India cannot take such allegations at their face value; Syria has its own diplomatic interests in making such allegations hence there’s nothing wrong if such claims by the Syrian government are taken with a pinch of salt; but we cannot reject them outright either. These claims are too serious to be ignored. If Indian nationals are being alleged to be fighting along with the terrorists of ‘al-Qaida’ then India has all the reasons to get alarmed. India must scrutinise such claims and cross check their authenticity; and put an end to this controversy once for all.
On September 3, describing India’s official stand on the situation in Syria, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin opposed any military action against Syria and said India would support the proposed ‘International Conference on Syria’. On the issue of Chemical weapons he said that India has always supported elimination of such weapons worldwide and in this (Syria’s) case India is awaiting for the full report of the UN.
But these new developments in the situation demand for much more serious involvement of Indian Government. If there is indeed an involvement of Indian nationals as “Islamic Jihadis” in the Syrian civil war, then our stand cannot be like that of ‘any other’ country or that of inaction and indifference. Indian government must ask Syria for proper evidences for all such claims and take some firm stand on the situation accordingly. We already have faced a lot of Islamic terrorism in India and we would never want India to become a factory or supply house of terrorists.