Harmony, Reunion Must Among Arabians
By Arun Ranjit
As the unjust siege of Qatar entered second year on June 5, the attempts of the blockading countries in last one year have, as said by Qatari government, “failed”. But instead, Qatar has become stronger in the face of unjust blockade. Four Arab nations- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, 2017.
Seeing from the eyes, Qatar today is better than yesterday. This writer had found drastic structural, managerial and scenic changes during his recent visit to Qatar compare to the previous several visits. Today, Doha has become a destination for everyone from around the world. As the clock does not turn back Qatar has also set itself on a path of development and is moving forward towards perfection and success.
Amid all these hurdles, Qatar managed to achieve great heights during this last one year in many spheres ranking fifth in economic performance in the world, stated in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2018.
It’s not a surprise that Qatar is improving its efficiency ranking. Qatar was ranked 14th in 2018 out of 63 mostly high-income nations, compared to 17th in 2017. The country has ranked 10thin government efficiency, 13th in business efficiency and 38th in the infrastructure sector.
Qatar’s economy continued its “positive” performance during the past year, confirming that the country was unaffected by the blockade. According to the World Bank reports, in 2017, Qatar’s total GDP increased to USD 220 billion compared with USD 218 billion in 2016.
World Economic Forum, World Bank, and other international agencies reported that “Qatar ranks in distinction.” All these positive indicators have showed that Qatar has overcome the blockade by enhancing its economic competitiveness. Today, Qatar has emerged unscathed from the blockade and the country has been witnessing unprecedented development and progress in all sectors. The country is in a position to live with the siege for long if that be the case.
Since a year, four nations have been hitting Qatar through blockade. Even though, Qataris’ effective and wise diplomacy has stimulated nation’s economy into productivity. Thus, Qatari officials in Nepal believed the year-long blockade has no weight as it doesn’t affected either citizen’s life-style or nation’s development process. But instead, the blockade could be said as “reward and opportunity” to make nation’s economy “more accessible to the world and bolster trade relations.”
“As Qatar is emerging as an advanced nation in the Gulf region and hosting the FIFA’s mega-soccer expo-World Cup 2022, the blockade was made just to undermine Qatar’s position in the world map and also might be a nation’s ego issue,” whispered Qatari entrepreneurs.
Out of its respect for its brothers across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and beyond, Qatar has been calling for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the crisis. Before the crisis, GCC citizens enjoyed a great deal of freedom of movement between the six-member states and have close tribal ties of intermarriages. The blockade has affected not only the politico-economy but also separated families. Now, visits between these family members have also been made harder which is "worse than the then Berlin Wall or Korean DMZ.”
“Qatar is always ready for dialogue round-the-clock within the framework of mutual respect for sovereignty and common obligations to resolve the Gulf crisis, because “there is no winner, we are all brothers and we are all losers due to this crisis, ” said Qatari Emir in an interview to one of the television channels.
Qatar has never changed its stance on talk and has been cooperating the mediation efforts led by Kuwait. But Doha has always made it clear that the sovereignty of the country is a red line, which nobody will be allowed to cross.
However, the blockade has not been able to break Qatar's will. The tiny emirate being a richest per capita in the world has pursued a policy of self-restraint, moderate response. And has risen above all wrangles and misbehavior in respect for norms and values. Thus, all shops and commercial complexes in Qatar stopped selling goods imported from blockading countries.
Qatar occupies a tiny headland on the Arabian Peninsula, with a single land border with Saudi Arabia and across the sea from Iran. The former British protectorate gained its independence in 1971 and has since been ruled by the Al-Thani family.
Competition for the leadership of the region may not be the sole motive behind attempts to harm the Qatar, which has always endeavored to cooperate and show solidarity with the Gulf system. Despite the current crisis, Qatar is moving up the ladder that has strengthened the values of solidarity and cohesion between citizens and expatriates.
Religiously also, Qataris were denied to perform the Hajj, the highest religious duty in Islam, by the Saudi Arabia last year. This year also the situation so far is not positive yet.
Politicians also viewed that this blockade was might to impose their hegemonies and mile-attempt to change the rule in Qatar. History also shows that when Qatar came out with new developmental vision the same kind of bids were also be fall earlier in 2014 and in 1996. But Doha says, has committed to dialogue and enhance bilateral ties with all at any time to resolve the issues in question but not under siege, threats or infringement of its sovereignty.
Thus,now the ball is in the court of the blockading countries. Nevertheless, time shows all of them must gather around the table and engage into a concrete dialogue to find a solution for the crisis to bring peace, harmony and prosperity in the region.
Yes, mediating conflict is never easy. Traditional mediating approaches could work somehow. Local Arab leaders, more so than parties from outside the region, can play a crucial mediating role in ending the downward spiral. No doubt, the GCC crisis is damaging for all the parties involved not only economically but also socially. Therefore, it has become urgent need to find best approach impartial efforts that really work. As GCC member-state itself faces many challenges they should join hands for the coherent regional policy that enables people to coexist and live in peace.
Ramadan is a holy month of mercy and social solidarity that keeps relatives in close touch. Forgiveness and reconciliation are seen as cornerstones during Ramadan. Thus, Arab Muslim leaders can invoke such appeals to seek a route out of the current dispute in ways no others can legitimately claim to. May Ramadan showers tactful wisdom of regional reconciliation and harmony to all Muslim brothers and sisters to hug each other and have Iftar together forgetting all sins and evils.
Nepal is holding the fourth Summit of BIMSTEC next week. The regional body is expected to discuss various issues pertaining to connectivity, investment,...