It’s Time India got a Permanent UNSC Seat

There’s no denying the fact that the time has come for India to be awarded a permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat. This would enable the country to exert a greater degree of influence on the world order.

Well, it’s not for nothing that leading strategic experts have voiced in favour of India’s inclusion to the UNSC. One among every six persons in the world is an Indian. It’s the world’s biggest and most liberal, secular and vibrant democracy, besides being among the largest economies in the world (in fact, it’s larger than France and UK combined and larger than Russia).

What has led to several international experts vouching for India is that the country is considered worldwide as a peace loving nation which has a powerful armed force under firm civilian control. Unlike many of its neighbours, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, the armed forces in India have never laid a stake to power. Moreover, the country is a responsible nuclear major and has a strong non-proliferation record to its credit. It has also contributed significantly to numerous UN peacekeeping missions across the world.

Regardless of all the above brownie points, India doesn’t find a permanent membership to the UNSC alongside the US, France, Russia, China and Britain. Expansion of the UNSC and opposition to India’s membership has come mainly from China and Uniting for Consensus (UfC), nicknamed Coffee Club. UfC includes Italy, Mexico, Argentina and Pakistan.

Support for India, nevertheless, has poured in from several quarters. Representative Frank Pallone, founder, India Caucus, US Congress, while introducing the House Resolution 108 in the US House of Representatives said, “I believe it is morally wrong to ignore the voice of over one billion Indian people in security decision-making that affects them. India’s location, its large population, its history of participating in UN peacekeeping operations, and its leadership in the non-alignment movement all justify its bid for a permanent seat on the UNSC. All five members of the UNSC must realize that having India as a permanent member will give the South Asia region a stabilizing force.”

Leading world dailies and journals have also rallied behind India’s inclusion to the UNSC. International Herald Tribune has said, “Clearly, a seat for India would make the body more representative and democratic.” Charles Krauthammer, The New York Times, said, “Sometimes I wish that the five permanent members of the UNSC could be chosen with a vote by the fans. Then the perm-five would be Russia, China, India, Britain and the United States. That’s more like it. India is the world’s biggest democracy, the world’s largest Hindu nation and the world’s second-largest Muslim nation”

However, the US surprisingly, has maintained a silence over the issue, probably because of the fact that it paid more heed to Pakistan on strategic affairs in South Asia. But with the US-Pak honeymoon all but over, following the hunting down of Laden, Washington is expected to now endorse India’s permanent membership to the UNSC. Any objection from Islamabad, in the coming days, is likely to fall into deaf years as it is the breeding ground of terror.

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