Indian abstainance from UN vote on Libya well-thought-out move: experts
March 21, 2011
India on Friday abstained from voting in the United Nations Security Council on a resolution in favor of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Muammar Gadaffi from attacking civilians, despite a last-ditch effort by the U.S. to persuade New Delhi to back it.
Indian government officials and some political experts have hailed the "well-thought-out" move, saying that the country was right as it may have only worsen the Libyan people's woes, instead of mitigating them.
"New Delhi did not vote as it was concerned that it was too premature a decision to take and the move could have aggravated the woes of the common Libyans already in difficulty in the trouble-torn North African nation. Moreover, the Ministry of External Affairs was concerned about Indian civilians who have stayed back in Libya. So, the decision is justified," said a senior government official, seeking anonymity.
Some 150 people were killed while hundred others injured after an international military coalition, including Britain, France and the United States, attacked Libyan air defense and military targets on Sunday night, two days after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution approving the no-fly zone and authorizing military action in Libya to impose it.
Ten of 15 members of the UN Security Council voted in favor of the resolution. The BRIC nations of Russia, China, India and Brazil plus Germany, however, stayed away.
"With the toll reaching 150 in just one night of military intervention in Libya, India seemed to be absolutely right in abstaining from the UN voting. India never supports use of disproportionate force," said Professor Ajay Singh, a Delhi-based political expert.
He added: "The world has seen what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military intervention by the western nations have only helped destabilizing the countries. So, it was a well-thought- out decision to stay away from the UN voting. India, instead, should have voted against the resolution."
In an explanation of India's move to abstain from UN voting, the country's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Manjeev Singh Puri, said: "It is very important that there is full respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Libya . We had to ensure that the measures will mitigate and not exacerbate an already difficult situation for the people of Libya ."
According to foreign policy expert R.K. Dutta, India and other BRIC nations' abstainance only proved that these countries showed the international community that they are not willing to be too collaborative with the West.
"It's a message to the international community," he said.
Aptly summed up another Indian official: "New Delhi remains deeply uncomfortable about sanctioning military action in a third country, particularly if it could lead to a disintegration of that country. It was right in taking a right decision. Time will only tell whether the West was right in attacking Libya ."