India May Not Send Troops To Iraq Despite UN Nod

New Delhi, Sept 18: | Updated: Sep 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
India is expected to stick to its stand of not sending troops to Iraq, notwithstanding any UN resolution. The subject is bound to figure in the Vajpayee-Bush talks later this month in New York, MEA sources told FE.

According to them, the much-awaited UN resolution may turn out to be nothing but a fig leaf because it is unlikely to hold any key role for the world body.

According to sources they did not envisage the UN resolution containing anything that would fundamentally alter the situation in Iraq. In fact, they added, a number of factors will have to be considered for instance whether the resolution will pacify the people of Iraq, whether it will increase the legitimacy of Security Council or whether it will distinguish the UN forces from the occupation forces.

However, sources conceded that the basic reason for not sending troops to Iraq was enmeshed in domestic politics. Moreover, India could consider sending humanitarian assistance but the situation has changed dramatically in Iraq where the ethnic divisions are getting sharper.

However, the sources did not expect Indias refusal to send troops to come in the way of the Indo-US relations.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee before leaving for the US had said that there was no clarity as yet in the UN Security Council on Iraq and India would take a decision about sending its troops there only after some action was taken by the world body.

When the Security Council does take some action, we will take a decision, keeping all aspects in mind, including our internal security situation, Mr Vajpayee had said.

Meanwhile, reports emanating from the US indicated that it was making changes to its draft UN Security Council resolution on Iraq in a bid to make it more palatable to countries that objected to the original document.