Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 7, no 1-2 (2011)

Transcending Multilateral Conflicts in Eurasia: Some Sustainable Peaceful Alternatives

Mushtaq A. Kaw
Issued Date: 20 Sep 2012

Abstract


In this article I argue that notwithstanding intermittent conflicts and wars among the nomadic and sedentary peoples since early times, the Asian and Middle Eastern region has been characteristic of relative peace and prosperity. This region has been known for the boom in energy trade, globalization and amalgamation of local, national and global economies during the post-Cold War era. I show how, at least in part, the gradual improvement in the indicators of social sustainability, human security and economic growth, was the natural concomitant of the historical position of this region. Yet, speedy progress in the region, this article shows, is impeded by divergent geo-political, geo-economic and geo-strategic agendas of the regional and global powers; these find manifestation in the conflicts in Middle East, Caucasia, Afghanistan, Indian Kashmir, Chinese part of Turkistan (Xinjiang) etc. The conflicts are diverse in nature, time and space, and are pre-emptive of enormous malice, hatred and heart burning among the contending parties. To downs-size one another, they perpetually build military capability and enhance defense expenditure, in hundreds of thousands of US dollars at the cost of public works, human security and precious national resources. I conclude that the conflicts can be overcome through peaceful means rather than use of force. Several alternatives are warranted for the purpose: (i) engagement of conflicting parties in composite dialogue for generational sustainability, (ii) promotion of regional and economic integration while marginalizing ethno-national, ethno-geographic, ethno-religious and ethno-sectarian disputes, (iii) revival of the region’s rich tradition of multiculturalism and human co-existence, and (iv) glorification of peace message in Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and other religions. The objective is simply making history relevant to the contemporary society, and bolstering peace efforts of the nations, philanthropists and civil society in an otherwise war-torn and conflict-ridden Asian and Middle Eastern space.

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DOI: 10.1558/cis.v7i1-2.349

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