An international seminar on Just Peace: A Common Universal Discourse was organised by The Islamic World Peace Forum (Iran) and Indo-Iran Society, (New Delhi) at India International Centre, New Delhi, from April 11 to 12.
In his welcome address, the Cultural Counsellor, Dr. Karim Najafi outlined the main purpose of the international seminar for securing just peace in this volatile world. While the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Syed Mahdi Nabizadeh, in his inaugural address, lamented the policy of arrogant powers talking peace and ‘imposing aggression’. He also focused on the need of dialogue among different cultures and religions.
A distinguished personality from Iran, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, in his presidential remarks, stressed on the Islamic values and principles for securing peace for the benefit of humankind. Professor Mushirul Hasan made his remarks over Indo-Iran relations.
Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit was conferred with the famous Darashukoh Award for Peace, in the auditorium of JNU where the inaugural session was held. She also made a speech on the need for tolerance and appreciation for each other. Prof. Suranjan Das, vice-chancellor of Kolkata University was the guest of honour who spoke on Indo-Iran relations.
Dr. John Dayal and Dominic Emmanuel focused on the teachings of Prophet Isa for peace while Asghar Ali Engineer asserted that Islamic teachings are against terrorism and cruelty. There were some Iranian scholars including Amb. S. R. Tabatabaei Shafiei, Deputy Secretary-General of the Asian-AfricanLegalConsultative. Organisation, New Delhi, Prof. Chaiyan Rajchagool (Thailand), Dr. K.N. Islam (Bangladesh), Prof. Hasbi Amiruddin (Indonesia) and many others.
There were many speakers both from India and abroad who expressed their views in the academic sessions which started in the India International Centre.
Dr. Arshi Khan, political commentator on West Asian politics and Associate Professor of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, while speaking on “Situating Just Peace in the Context of Western Liberal States’ Policies towards Occupied Palestinian Territories”, made a critical analysis of the policies and principles of Western countries towards West Asia.
Dr. Khan defined peace as a kind of ‘Lockean State of Nature’ but not Rousseau’s idyllic happiness which is the outcome of a process accelerated by different actors at various levels. Religious school has focused on the organic aspect of peace whereas the secular thoughts have stressed on liberal principles, institutions and values. In this respect, modern states were created to serve the cause of peace. At the international level, the League of Nations and the United Nations were established to develop democratic pattern of relations among national players.
Dr. Khan said there are evidences of harsh punishments for wrong-doers and invasions and humanitarian interventions for the sake of international peace but the West has abstained from taking any such measures against Israel which is a fit case for Nuremberg-type of trial and Belgrade-type of American bombings. He lamented that Israel is the only entity which violated over 60 resolutions of the UN Security Council, the UN Charter, ICCPR, ICESCR and Geneva Conventions. Israel is the only one in the whole West Asian region which has the possession of over 200 thermo-nuclear weapons. It has neither signed NPT nor allowed weapons inspection despite the UNSC resolution 687 of 1991 which call for West Asia free from Nuclear weapons and WMDs.
Dr. Khan said Israel’s birth is unlawful as it was created by violating the UN partition plan of November 1947. It has a long record of uprooting the Palestinians numbering about 7 million refugees, occupying all their territories in 1967, attacking Palestinians, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. After Oslo and Madrid Accords, Dr. Khan added, Israel accelerated illegal Jewish settlements and created illegal Israeli Wall in Palestinian lands. Even now the Palestinians are being attacked and their homes demolished for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem.
Looking into all these, Dr. Khan said that the recent UN report has also accused Israel of war crimes and crime against humanity. He averred that as all options have been exhausted against Israel without any achievement, the only options left with the world community are two. One is the harsh Economic and Military Sanctions against Israel and the other is humanitarian interventions to destroy the military infrastructures of Israel under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to save the region. Lastly, he emphasised, Israel should not be allowed to stand above the law as it is not acceptable to the world community.