President Pervez Musharraf in his speech urged the (NAM) to play a pivotal role in conflict resolution


Mar 03 - 09, 2003



The thirteen summit of the 114 members of non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in Kuala Lumpur last week assumed a special significance as it provided a platform for weak and developing countries to jointly raise their voice against coercive diplomacy and adventurous act of one superpower. The NAM founded in early 1960s, for entirely different reasons, has found a new important role of creating a balance in the emerging new world order, marked with increasing resort to unilateralism and arm twisting tactics of only remaining superpower in pursuit of its foreign policy goods.

The trend was set by the host of the summit, Dr. Mahatir Mohammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia and the new Chairman of the NAM who attacked US policies and its war against terrorism by saying "it is no longer just a war against terrorism. It is in fact a war to dominate the world". In a vitriolic attack over the threat of war against Iraq he compared the political and military leaders of the world great power unflatteringly with suicide terrorist. He said "while the terrorist died, the great warriors who press the button see nothing of the mangled bodies, the heads and limbs which are torn from disemboweled bodies, the blood and gore of innocent people and because they dont see, the button pressing warriors and the people who commanded them go back to enjoy a hearty meal, watch TV or entertainment shows and retire to their cosy bed for a good sleep". The agenda for the summit, which include discussion on Iraq, North Korea and economic problems faced by the developing countries, has been prepared by a series of meetings of the experts and Foreign Ministers Conference, held earlier in the Malaysian capital.

India tried to seek support for its suppression of the Kashmiris freedom struggle and to isolate Pakistan by pressing the terrorism issue. It soon found out it had miscalculated, the attempt met strong opposition from the Muslim countries, some of which have close relations with India. Those opposing New Delhi's move insisted that freedom struggles and terrorism had to be differentiated. It was pointed out that the use of state power against innocent people struggling against foreign occupation could in no way by stymied.

President Pervez Musharraf in his speech urged the (NAM) to play a pivotal role in conflict resolution and remain a symbol of hope for the people of Kashmir and Palestine struggling to realize their inalienable and world-recognized right to self-determination.



"The legitimacy of their (Kashmiries and Palestinians) cause is recognized by the United Nations and the NAM must press for the realization of these just causes and shun a selective approach to UN resolutions", said the President.

He declared that Chapter VI of the UN Charter provides the best framework for the pacific settlement of disputes. Pakistan, he maintained, supports the establishment of a panel of eminent persons to more fully define and promote these objectives and processes.

It was a setback to the US when NAM rejected the term 'axis of evil meant to target three of its members on the pretext of combating terrorism. The moot, however, balanced its stand by calling on North Korea to drop plans for nuclear weapons. The draft resolution rebuffs Pyongyong's attempts to blame Washington for the crisis in the Korean peninsula. It also implicitly urges North Korea to reverse its decisions to withdraw from the NPT.

NAM was formed more than forty years ago by some of the most prominent leaders of their age at a time when two powers, the US representing the capitalist camp and the Soviet Union leading the communist bloc, dominated the world scene. Its founding fathers, Gamal Abdul Naseer of Egypt, Ahmad Seerkano of Indonesia, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia and Jawaharlal Nehru of India sought to chalk out an independent course for smaller nations, proclaiming neutrality and anti-colonialism. As its very name suggests, the members of the Non-Aligned Movement had the choice not to align themselves with either of the two superpowers though some did that in pursuit of what they thoughts was their self-interest.

During the years following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the ascendance of the US as the sole superpower, the Movement lost much of its sense of direction and therefore vitality as an international organization. It has since been trying to focus its attention on more non-controversial issues such as poverty, environment and drug trafficking, etc. But it is time now for the Movement to redefine its role in a unipolar world, where the smaller nations have to forge a united front to defend their right to sovereignty and survival against blatant threats of war and conquest from an irresistible military behemoth.

As proclaimed by the US President, George W. Bush, in his infamous declaration, "you are with us or against us", the smaller nations can no longer make independent decisions on now best to deal with particular political situation. As a matter of fact, blinded by arrogance of power, the US is even threatening the very existence of the supreme body of the world's nations, the UN, saying it would become irrelevant and might to the way of the League of Nations if it did not go along with Washington's plans for the conquest and colonization of Iraq.

The situation is a direct challenges to NAM, which during the Cold Was years used to raise a powerful voice on behalf of the weaker nations of the world. In terms of its size even today, it has 114 members, comprising half of the world's people. What it needs is a revitalization of spirit. At no time in post-World War II history have the smaller nations been at so much risk of being the target of a big power's imperialistic ambitions as now. It is about time they united and revitalized NAM to combat America's aggressive designs in line with the Movement's original proclamation of anti-colonialism.