Published:  12:50 AM, 29 November 2017

The enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend

The enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend

Iran vs. KSA:  Surprisingly enough, the two countries have no diplomatic relation. Relation is rather strained over geopolitical issues, such as interpretation of Islam, leadership of the Islamic world, oil export policy and relation with USA and its western allies.  Both are strict followers of Islam, but they have different visions pertaining to peace, stability and foreign relations.  KSA has close ties with the western world, notably USA and UK.

Whereas Iran is strongly based on anti western revolution. Further, Ayatollah Khomeni, the founder of the Iranian revolution, was ideologically opposed to monarchy, which he believed to be un-Islamic. The religious leaders of KSA have long supported monarchy (which is conservative and not revolutionary in KSA) as long as it did not violate Islamic Shariah law. In case of Syrian civil war Iran supported the Syrian Govt. both economically and militarily. While KSA supported and aided the rebel group. Both accused each other for patronizing terrorism.

After the Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashad were ransacked by the Iranian protesters, KSA  broke off diplomatic relation with Iran on January 3, 2016. Even after that Iran extended its hand of friendship to KSA which gave no response. To comment, Iran's stand was just and rightful. It is the western allies of KSA who forcibly and unjustly occupied Palestine and created Israel when Muslim population there was 68%. Moreover, Islam never propagates monarchy. 

After the holy prophet (pbuh), the golden era of the Islamic rule lasted till the expiry of the 4 Caliphs who were rightly guided and were chosen by the mutual consent and consultation among the believers only.  2) Iran vs. Iraq: The Shiah- Sunni  conflict between the two countries  also  played a pivotal role in fuelling  Iran-Iraq  war (1980-1988) when Iraq invaded  Iran during  1980s.

The war sparked off Saudi concerns over stability in the region, although,  relation of KSA was warm  neither with Iran nor with Iraq. Here Iraq was found invader and guilty and not Iran. 3)Iraq  vs. Kuwait:  The world  in general   and the Muslim majority states  in particular witnessed with traumatic  surprise another  ' Bull fight'  between the 2  common  enemies of Israel.  In 1961 Britain granted independence to Kuwait which Iraq claimed as Kuwait was a part of Ottoman's province in Southern Iraq. 

After strong global pressure Iraq recognized Kuwait in 1963. Still the relation between the two common enemies of Israel was never warm, rather occasional border clashes erupted between the two. However, a  glimpse  of silver lining hopefully appeared  along the dense dark cloud when the relation between the two countries slightly  improved during  Iran-Iraq  war  when  Kuwait  assisted  Iraq with financial and diplomatic backing. But only 2 years after the end of Iran-Iraq war, Iraq brought allegation against Kuwait for unjustly pumping oil from the border area in which Iraq has its due share.

Besides, Kuwait violated the oil production quota set by the OPEC (Organization of petroleum exporting countries). Ultimately   Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The Iraqi invasion was strongly condemned by Iran.  Iran's  stance in favor of the Kuwaitis and the anti Iraqi coalition  among the   Gulf states  was rightful  which  improved relations between Iran and the GCC( Gulf Cooperative Council ), more importantly KSA.

Both Iran and KSA firmly stood against Iraq.  However, the warm relation between Iran and KSA was short lived and died with the death  of Iraqi aggression . Recently in June 2017 the KSA broke diplomatic relation with Qatar for link with Iran.

A close view over the diplomatic history of the major countries of the world including our neighbors reveal that there were fluctuations in the' diplomatic pulse chart' over time. The Pakistani occupation forces killed 3 million innocent people of Bangladesh during liberation war. But only after 2 years in 1974 Pakistan recognized Bangladesh. Since partition in 1947 the diplomatic relation existed between India and Pakistan. But relation was always tense and hostile mainly over Kashmir tangle.

There had been 3 wars (1948, 1965, and 1971) between the two countries in addition to frequent border clashes along Kashmir. After 1962 war India- China relationship was not hostile although, there is border dispute between the two.  Although, relation between the two big powers USA and China is not hostile, but recently USA expected China to heal and halt the growing nuclear capabilities of North Korea to which China seemingly turned a blind eye. Bangladesh has diplomatic relation with Myanmar.

Bangladesh is always committed to peace and communal harmony. Whereas, over the last several months Myanmar's military forces in collusion with the native Buddhists have been found tyrannical on the innocent  Rohingya  Muslims. Thousands of Rohingyas fell prey to indiscriminate killing and raping by the barbarian beasts in men. This sparked off instantaneous protest from the international community.

So far more than one million Rohingyas from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh. On humanitarian ground Bangladesh, has been still hosting them with food, shelter and healthcare which glorified the stance and image of Bangladesh to the international community. To conclude, in the real world there is no true and lasting friendship which depends on how much and how long one is going to materially gain.

The holy Quran says ( Sura Al-Imran  3/105) "And be not like those who became divided  and disagreed after clear arguments had come to them, and those it is that shall have a grievous chastisement  ". According to holy  Hadith (Abu Dawood) : Friendship (or conversely enmity ) is allowed exclusively  for the  sake of Almighty Allah  centering around  the Do's (what has been ordained by  Allah) and the  Don'ts (what has been forbidden by  Allah).

The implication is that friendship should not be influenced by personal or collective worldly gains or losses and personal liking or disliking and should not even be influenced by family or blood relationship. In this connection it needs to be clarified that Islam does not approve extremism in any sphere of life.  Buying and selling ie. Trade relationship and even diplomatic relationship with the non-Muslim states is permitted in Islam so long as those countries are not found involved in any activity subversive of the Islamic faith and religion.

The writer is a former General Manager, Credit Information Bureau, Bangladesh Bank

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