Begging for Peace

Peace can be won by labour.

A famous Russian member of the Soviet Central Committee and editor of government newspapers Mr. Lev N. Tolkunov wrote in one of his articles published in 1960, “Peace is not to be had by begging, peace is won the hard way.” Written in the background of the devastation caused by the two world wars especially in Europe and the failure of ‘The League of Nations’ and the UNO to ensure peace, subsequently a two volume work was published by the Soviets, which was titled “Peace Without Weapons — Peace Without Wars”. It contained the remarks and speeches of N. S. Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet government, who in 1959 had numerous-meetings with many state and political figures from foreign countries and he spoke at the United Nations. In his widely known article. We can argue; we need not agree with each other; however, it is most important that this remains a struggle of ideologies without putting into motion one’s weapons when insisting on one’s position”. Mr. Khrushchev indicated that the new distribution of international strength, which developed after the Second World War, gave reasons to assert that there was no fatal inevitability of a Third World War and that it could be prevented. “We desire peace, but to strive for peace does not mean to beg for peace. Peace must be won. Peace can be won by labour, by increasing the power of our country, by creating newer and more dependable weapons, by improving our economy, by developing science and technology, by developing more new machines. The Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp is in the best state. These great forces are a guarantee of a lasting peace on earth”.
Be that as it may, despite political statements, sentiments of leadership and the diplomatic parlance, the history of the World and the above two examples prove the universal truth that, “the weakness invites aggression” and “the balance of power ensures relative peace through deterrence”. Despite the advent and modernisation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems’ technologies, the race for domination of the Global Commons including ground, sea and air lines of communications, cyber and outer spaces, food and energy resources has continued unabatedly. Besides, the rise of China as a tough competitor in all the fields and resurgence of Russia set against America and EU/NATO/ Quad allies has added to the proxy wars fought all over the globe, serving the interests of the above stated three major contestants on the globe.
The ongoing most brutal genocide of Palestinian Muslims in Gaza by Israeli occupation forces with full support by the US/ NATO is a reminder of the Old Christian Crusades; Alas there is neither any Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ayyubi (c. 1137 – 4 March 1193) nor any Ottoman Khilafat (c. 1299–1924) to confront the aggressors and help the beleaguered Muslim. The same is true for the Muslims in Indian occupied Kashmir and in other states under invasion of non-Muslim powers. The silence of the Lamb and the Ostrich attitude practiced by the economically and militarily strong Muslim majority countries under untenable justifications; insensitively busy in ostentatious developments, luxurious lives and cosmetic national or multinational military drills / exercises without anything done to help the suffering Muslims are embarrassing and heart wrenching to say the least. The rulers and the religious pulpits as well as the rulers are silent on the plight of the sufferings of the Muslims against the teachings of Holy Quran. The Islam was spreading, and Muslims were strong and prosperous as long as Jihad in wholesome terms and in true letter and spirit was practiced as a religious obligation by the states under dynamic and brave leadership.
Are there any examples in history where peace and independence was ever gained by begging, pleading or by diplomacy? William Wallace said, “I tell you a truth: Liberty is the best of things, my son; never live under any slavish bond…every man dies, not every man really lives”. Martin Luther King Jr said, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed…; let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” The defensive nature of jihad is clearly emphasized in Holy Quran 2:190, “And fight in the way of God with those who fight you, but aggress not: God loves not the aggressors.” According to Sunnah, Jihad in Islam, or warfare in defense of life and Muslim religious rights, is legally analogous to modern just-war theory as enshrined in international law. Jihad itself is a much broader concept in Islam, including difficult acts of charity and spiritual struggle against Satan and the lower self. How will the Muslim rulers stand in the court of Almighty and justify their spinelessness? “Fortune favours the brave”; “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it, and it is better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.”

Saleem Qamar Butt
The writer is a retired senior army officer with experience in international relations, military diplomacy and analysis of geo-political and strategic security issues.

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