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April 6, 2020

Stop the wars

Editorial

 
April 6, 2020

As the number of Covid-19 affected people passes a million around the world, there is a need for the leaders of the world to have a dispassionate look at the miseries people have been going through not only due to the coronavirus but also by the animosities and wars raging around the world for decades. The novel coronavirus has been around just for a few months but civil wars and international conflicts have claimed millions of lives across Africa, Asia, and Latin America – without anyone so much as batting an eyelid in the developed world. The Middle East has been a centre of conflicts of both internal and external forces for the past few decades now. From Afghanistan and Iran through Iraq and Syria, the entire region has been witnessing a conflagration of enormous proportions.

With the devastating impact of the novel coronavirus around the world, it was expected that world leaders would sober up to the challenge and put aside their petty differences. But as the events of the last few weeks have proved, even in the time of a pandemic, the itch to fight and inflict harm to others has not subsided. Take for example the continued attacks of the Taliban on government forces in Afghanistan. Hardly a day passes by when a check post or an installation is not attacked by them. After the signing of the agreement between the Taliban and the US a ray of hope had emerged, but in all likelihood that hope was misplaced. Then take a look at Iran and the US. There is no doubt that the people of Iran have suffered tremendously under the yoke of American sanctions and with the ravages of the coronavirus their sufferings have intensified manifold. The same applies to the conflict in Syria, especially in Idlib. The region was already under attack from various sides when the coronavirus struck – and yet the warring sides have not abated their onslaught on Idlib.

Move to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and there also you see the same morbid madness going on, with missiles being fired and drone attacks launched. As we urge the world to lift sanctions on Iran so that the country can tackle the corona crisis with medical supplies and other necessities, we also strongly call for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. The vagaries of the coronavirus should serve as a wake-up call for the entire world to unite for peace and to provide people with the essentials of life such as health, education, and safe drinking water. Let this pestilence teach us a lesson in mutual cooperation and respect so that we are able to resolve conflicts and embark on a common journey of peace and progress for everyone.