Failures besiege blockading countries

 05 Jul 2017 - 11:00

Three Gulf countries imposed air, sea and land blockade on Qatar the same date last month. Nonetheless, the high hopes they attached with their diplomatic adventure are nothing today but merely a record of shattered ambitions and political failures in annuls of history.

The very first failure they met the same day when they severed ties with Qatar on the basis of false accusations of “Doha’s support to terror organisations”. Except a couple of hasty tweets posted by US President, no international leader or nation came forward endorsing the move or allegations leveled against Qatar.

Even US military establishment distanced itself from Trump’s tirade and lauded Qatar’s contribution in war against terror. After initial hostile tweets against Qatar, US President too brought a balance in his position asking both the parties to exercise restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue.

No world power including UK, Germany, France or Russia supported Saudi-led bloc’s move of imposing sanctions against Qatar or endorsed “Qatar -supporting-terror-organisations” allegations.   

Three weeks after imposing travel curbs against Qatar, the blockading countries presented the list of 13 demands to Qatar on June 22 that too was meant to pacify growing anxiety in the world community over bloc’s undefined reluctance in drafting the demands to end the impasse. The list of demands was received with huge surprise by world leaders as some termed it “unrealistic” and others “too tough to meet” while the people blatantly dubbed the 13-point list of demands “absurd”.  The net result was another failure of Saudi-led alliance in international diplomacy.   

Causing a great dismay to Saudi-led bloc, no major Islamic state stood besides the blockading countries. Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and Morocco etc. refused joining the blockading countries’ diplomatic offensive launched against Qatar. Some African nations said “yes” after exercising maximum restraint on Saudi bloc’s call of severing diplomatic ties with Qatar but it is an open secret that they too opted the course under extreme financial or religious compulsions. Such blackmailing coupled with threats of cutting financial aid and making Haj and Umrah procedures tough by Saudi-led alliance is also not a success but a disgusting failure.

The blockading countries have pumped a lot of money in their propaganda machines to defame and malign Qatar in the comity of nations in general and regional population in particular with baseless accusations of “supporting terror” but the people across the world have simply refused buying these concocted stories. To every anti-Qatar tweet posted by paid agents, people ask about the nationality of terrorists behind 9/11.   

The blockading countries in the last thirty days have also miserably failed to cause anxiety in Qatar and its leadership. To every allegation and badmouth, the reaction from Qatar has always been logical, polite and in accordance with Islamic and Arab traditions. While the Gulf crisis has exposed the childish political approach of siege countries at one hand, it has presented Qatar as a nation having maturity and morality before the global audience on the other.

By closing offices of Qatar-based media organisations operating in their lands and blocking internet access to Qatari news websites, the siege countries earned nothing but a bad reputation across the world.

Today, Saudi-led alliance demands closure of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera while the whole world is demanding press freedom sharing hashtag #DemandPressFreedom on their social media accounts. Today, the world better understands which country believes in freedom of press and which wants to silence the media using coercive means and force of authority. Another failure, another loss!

The same attitude of disrespect to basic rights of individuals on behalf of blockading countries has caused a human tragedy in the region when this siege has separated blood relatives from one another and infringed upon people’s basic right to travel, study and do business etc. Three Gulf countries’ least concern towards continuing human rights violations will always be remembered in history as an act of cruel indifference.      

The miscalculated expectations of the siege countries that the blockade might cause economic troubles for Qatar have also evaporated in thin air along with their other such irrational hopes. Qatar has weathered the storm with firm financial footings; Qatari riyal is stable and same is the case with Qatar stock exchange. Even fear-mongering efforts of siege countries against Qatar’s financial future have ended in fiasco. Another failure indeed!

Life is going as normal in Qatar with no signs of shortage of any food or other items. A temporary void created immediately after the imposition of blockade last month has long been filled with quality replacements of edibles and other items from Turkey, Iran and other countries. The losers are the companies based in siege countries and consequently the blockading countries themselves which have lost a lucrative market of high-paying-capacity populace.

New maritime lines have been launched between Hamad Port and leading ports of the world; Turkey is offering construction material and medicines after exporting dairy products to Qatar; Qatar Airways is exploring new horizons and recently bagged prestigious Skytrax World Airline Award; construction of Qatar2022 dream has never been halted for a single moment; so on and so forth.                     

The nefarious designs of creating a wedge between Qatari people and its leadership as advanced through some hired-mouthpieces have also died their natural death in last four weeks.

The current crisis has sparked a new wave of patriotism and nationalism among the Qataris which reflects in their display of solidarity with the Emir. Today, “Tamim Al Majd” is synonymous with Qatar and the extraordinary display of love and loyalty by Qataris and expatriate communities with the Emir is no less than a nightmare for many who were living in fool’s paradise in the blockading countries. Another plot died without bringing any dividends for its masterminds.

The more blockading countries will extend the crisis, the more failures and embarrassments they are set to face. They should understand that their narrative founded on allegations that “Qatar supports terror” simply could not take off and all of their diplomatic calculations attached with June adventure have also met the crash landing.        

The writer is a Doha-based journalist.