Language of reason appeals to all
26 Jul 2017 - 12:28
A true leader’s words written by the heart go straight to the hearts of his people and even stir the conscience of his opponents. It was the very first address of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to his nation after imposition of unjust blockade on Qatar by three Gulf countries and each and every word of the speech resonated with the deep-seated aspirations of Qatari nation as well as met universally adopted principles of politics, diplomacy and human rights.
From the beginning to the conclusion, the whole speech was delivered from the moral high ground which the state of Qatar, its leadership and people have taken since the onset of the Gulf crisis. A graceful speech filled with undeniable facts and weighty arguments; a speech which was bold, clear and comprehensive with confident voice inflections. No doubt, he addressed his nation’s conscience in “language of reason”.
The bottom-line message to the blockading countries is clear and loud. No dictations and no compromise on Qatar’s sovereignty, period. “Any solution to the crisis must be based on two principles: firstly, the solution should be within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and will of each State; secondly, it should not be in a form of orders by one party against another, but rather as mutual undertakings and joint commitments binding to all.”
Qatar and its wise leadership with the backing of Qataris and world nations have been crystal clear on defending its sovereignty. Not budging an inch from its principled stance of protecting Qatar’s sovereignty, the Emir, Foreign Minister and all state representatives have been saying in categorical terms that they would never compromise on state’s independent foreign policy and sovereignty. Despite extreme bitterness created by the blockading countries in the last fifty days, the Emir’s readiness for a constructive dialogue has won global acclamation.
The UN Secretary General António Guterres has welcomed “the invitation of His Highness the Emir for dialogue to resolve the GCC crisis” and encouraged all parties to start talks to lift the siege imposed on Qatar.
France also welcomed Qatar’s call for dialogue to resolve the crisis terming the Emir’s speech as a “promising development”. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said: “I welcome the Emir of Qatar’s commitment to combat terrorism in all its manifestations, including terrorist financing. The Emir also pledged to resolve the remaining differences with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain through dialogue, negotiation, and Kuwaiti mediation. These steps will help to resolve the dispute.”
Morality matters the most: “All those who live in this country have become spokespersons for Qatar. Here I would like to recognize, with great pride, the high moral standard exercised by this people despite the campaign of incitement as well as the siege.” The Emir further said: “We have proved that there are basic principles and norms that we observe even in times of conflict and dispute, because we respect ourselves first and foremost.”
Without expressing any anger against the blockading countries and taking a moral high ground of grace and politeness, the Emir himself has set an example for his countrymen to follow while dealing with the opponents in the testing times.
Like all great leaders, the Emir uses word “we” that shows he considers his nation as his part and his power. Though the speech was purely on the current Gulf crisis but people are lauding the Emir for not forgetting Al Quds in his crucial address to the nation. The speech ended on a high note when he said: “I cannot end this speech without expressing solidarity with the brotherly Palestinian people, especially our people in Al Quds (Jerusalem), and denouncing the closure of the Al Aqsa Mosque … hoping that what is happening in Al Quds be an incentive for unity and solidarity instead of division.”
Three Gulf countries had constructed their diplomatic offensive against Qatar on baseless allegations of “Qatar supports terrorism” and logically no one in global audience expressed readiness to buy their groundless accusations. The Emir reiterated Qatar’s principled and unflinching stance against terrorism saying: “Qatar is fighting terrorism, relentlessly and without compromises, and there is international recognition of Qatar’s role in this regard. It does this not because we want to appease anyone in the East or the West, but because we consider terrorism, in the sense of it being an act of aggression against innocent civilians for political ends, a heinous crime against humanity.” But, at the same time, without any hesitation he repelled misconceptions revolving around term of terrorism. “We disagree with some on the sources of terrorism. For example, we say that religion is a moral motive, and not a source of terrorism that could lie in radical ideologies whether religious or secular.”
The Emir reminds the world that “while the disease of terrorism must not be underestimated, we cannot ignore other issues in our world. We believe that the whole world, including our region, also suffers from problems such as poverty, tyranny, occupation and others. This suffering needs to be addressed, as it is also a significant root cause of violent extremism and terrorism.”
Blessing in disguise: Dale Carnegie once said that the greatest power of a man is to turn negative into positive. The Emir also showed the people silver lining in the cloud of crisis and asked his countrymen to speed up adopting reforms. “This crisis has helped us identify the shortcomings and obstacles in determining Qatar’s national, political, economic and independent identity and in deciding to overcome and surpass these obstacles.”
Quoting the verse from the Holy Quran, “And perhaps you may hate something which is good for you,” he told his countrymen: “We are called upon to open our economy to investments and initiatives so that we produce our own food and medicine, diversify our sources of income, achieve our economic independence through bilateral relations of cooperation with other countries.”
Qatar has already set an ambitious National Vision 2030 for itself which is futuristic, all-encompassing and based on pillars of sustainability, diversification of economy and human development. Sharing his future vision for the country and Qatari nation, the Emir said, “Under my direction, the government will do whatever it takes to achieve this vision, including the required economic openness, the removal of obstacles to investment, and the prevention of monopolies in the context of building the national economy and investing in human development.”
The speech of the Emir also reflects that vested interests or politics of momentary gains of siege countries can never shatter love between people of the Gulf as for centuries they are living as a closely-knitted family. “I do not want to underestimate the scale of suffering and pain caused by the siege, and I hope that this malevolent approach in dealing among brothers will come to an end, and that differences may be resolved through dialogue and negotiation, for this approach has tarnished the image of all GCC countries in the eyes of the world.” In the times when Qatar is facing a harsh siege and an unending propaganda war by three Gulf countries, the Emir is still perturbed about tarnishing of GCC image in world community.
United we stand: Among other things the unity of Qatari people was the biggest force which defeated all corrosive conspiracies of the blockading countries. They say where there is unity there is victory. The Emir concluded his speech on the same theme: “I would like to thank you for your solidarity, cohesion, determination, resolve and civilised behavior, and to congratulate you on the spirit of nobility, love and amity prevailing in our land nowadays. These are our assets, our provision and energy to counter the great challenges in the way ahead.”
The writer is a Doha-based journalist