Muslim Brotherhood seeks India help for polls in Egypt

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    6,554
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...lp-for-polls-in-Egypt/articleshow/7590907.cms

    NEW DELHI: The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's Islamic party, has approached India to help conduct elections in the country when they are ready to go to polls. India may be willing to consider the request, sources said, The request was made to the Indian envoy in Egypt in the past weeks.

    The Brotherhood was banned in Egypt through the reign of deposed president Hosni Mubarak. Its Islamist history and its role in the creation of Islamist movements have raised fears that in the post-Mubarak power vacuum, the Brotherhood may seek to turn Egypt into an Islamic power. India, with huge credibility in conducting the world's largest elections fairly, looks upon this as a unique way of recasting its relations with Egypt, which were negligible in the Mubarak years.

    India is also looking at requests like this as promoting brand India, but not piggybacking on any other power. The possibility of India helping out with Egypt elections was also raised by US secretray of state Hillary Clinton with foreign minister S M Krishna. To get a better view of the fast-changing political equations in the region, national security advisor Shivshankar Menon will travel to Tehran in early March. He will also take in some of the Arab states in the Gulf. India is mulling a high-level visit to Egypt as well, but there is no decision on that yet, said sources.

    Menon's visit to Iran comes after a visit to India by Seyed Shamsuddin Hosseini, special envoy to the Iranian president. Iran has once again invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Navroz celebrations. But it's unlikely the PM will attend, said sources. Iran fancies itself as a regional power, particularly after the Arab crisis put Sunni regimes in turmoil. Indian officials tracking developments in these regions said Iran believes it has history on its side. This is a cause of fear and loathing among the Arab world, sharpening Shia-Sunni divides. India has about 4 million people living and working in the Arab countries.
     
  2.  
  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    31,663
    Likes Received:
    17,161
    Location:
    EST, USA
    While India might try to help in Egyptian elections, if it does, Pakistan will probably try to put a spanner in the works by getting the OIC to interfere or push India out.
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Cairo calling

    The day after the revolution is euphoric but always messy. The old order has crumbled, the dictator has been deposed, but the orderliness of the longed-for democracy is nowhere in sight. Egypt, after its glorious 18-day revolution, is in that inevitable but often unenviable state of uncertainty. And ordinary Egyptians are impatient to get their country in order. Even as internally Egypt is setting the pace of reforms — an army-appointed panel has proposed a set of constitutional reforms that will eventually be put to a public referendum — the international community has to step up in facilitating, as Cairo seems fit, its peaceful transition to democracy.

    It is in this context that it was suggested, first by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a telephone conversation with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and subsequently in her talks with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, that India assist Egypt in conducting free and fair polls. While this is a nod to New Delhi’s experience and expertise in conducting elections, it prudently responded to Clinton that it would wait for a request from the Egyptians themselves. Now sources say Egypt’s main opposition party has welcomed such an assistance. India should be cooperative but also cautious. It should use its democratic credentials for the political transformation of a people whose memory of free and fair elections is rather distant. India’s experience in Afghanistan, helping build its democratic institutions, training its parliament staff and election officials, should stand it in good stead too. But New Delhi should move into the politically volatile Egypt to bolster its ballots only when the call comes from a greater representation of Egyptians, who themselves are just working out the way out of a 30-year-long dictatorship, who are barely rolling out the blueprint of their future.
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    I don't think that's really possible. OIC afterall is a toothless body and Pakistan does not have much influence on its agenda in any case except the customary inclusion of the Kashmir issue. Infact, in the last annual statement they had omitted the Kashmir issue and Pakistan indignantly caught on to it and questioned why it was excluded.
    This is apart from the fact that most OIC members have a positive view of India. Check out this editorial in the leading English daily in Saudi Arabia Time to end India’s isolation in OIC
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    31,663
    Likes Received:
    17,161
    Location:
    EST, USA
    ^^ Thanks for sharing the article. I think the article, although apparently calling for India's participation in OIC, is rather ambivalent.

    On the other hand, India willing to work with an anti-Mubarak coalition might send the wrong message to the Saudi Royals (or am I being too pessimistic)? Trouble has started in Bahrain and there is a possibility of the same thing happening in Saudi as well.
     

Share This Page