India ready to fight the IS under UN flag


Amid intelligence reports about a potential threat to India from the radical Islamic State, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has signalled India’s willingness to participate in an anti-IS offensive, but only under the UN flag.

“We have made it clear that if there is a U.N. resolution and if there is a U.N. flag and a U.N. mission, then as per India’s policy to operate under the U.N. flag, we will participate,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in New Delhi on December 16 when asked about India’s role in the global fight against the IS.

Mr. Parrikar stressed that India joining the fight against IS “depends on whether the U.N. takes a resolution.”

This is the first official comment by a senior minister of the government detailing the stand of the government on the IS which has unleashed mayhem in the Syria-Iraq region, and was suspected to be the mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks in November.

India has been sceptical about sending troops to participate in military operations overseas, ever since the disastrous Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) operations in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s, which resulted in 1,200 soldiers getting killed. Despite intense pressure and a U.N. resolution approving peacekeeping operations in 2003, India did not send troops to Iraq after Saddam Hussein was toppled by a U.S.-led coalition.

India is again being persuaded by the US to join the western coalition that has launched air-strikes against the IS. During Mr. Parrikar’s recent visit to the US, the global coalition against the IS was discussed.

In the aftermath of the attacks in Paris by IS supporters, the global community has grappled to defeat the ultra-Islamist militant outfit militarily. The international community is also finding ways to cut off funding to terrorist organisations. Major global players, including India, held the first-ever meeting in Paris to devise mechanisms to tackle terror financing networks of the IS.

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