As the conflict in Gaza continues to escalate, countries across South Asia are finding themselves directly and indirectly affected by the ongoing crisis. The region has long been divided in its stance on the Israel-Palestine issue, with differing responses reflecting regional diplomatic relations, historical affiliations, and cultural ties. Here’s how the nations of South Asia have responded to the recent surge in violence.
Nepal: Bridging Diplomacy and Humanitarian Efforts
Nepal, home to ten citizens who tragically lost their lives in the attacks, found itself on the frontline of the crisis. It promptly airlifted 253 of its citizens out of the conflict zone, showing its commitment to safeguarding its people. Nepal maintains diplomatic ties with Israel but has consistently supported a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestine conflict. This balanced approach highlights the country’s commitment to humanitarian efforts and peace.
India: A Balancing Act in Changing Times
India, whose diplomatic relations with Israel have significantly strengthened in recent years, responded to the crisis by condemning the terrorist attacks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his solidarity with Israel. This stance demonstrates how far India-Israel relations have come since the days when India ardently championed the Palestinian cause during the Cold War. Despite these developments, the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated its continued support for a “sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine at peace with Israel.”
Sri Lanka: Urging for Immediate Resolution
Sri Lanka expressed deep concern about the escalating violence and called for an immediate end to hostilities. The island nation emphasized the importance of a “negotiated settlement in line with internationally agreed parameters of two states based on the 1967 borders.” This stance aligns with Sri Lanka’s historical support for the two-state solution.
Bangladesh: Expressing Concern and Advocating Two-State Resolution
Bangladesh strongly condemned the ongoing conflict, emphasizing that “living under Israeli occupation and forced settlements in Palestinian territory will not pave the way for peace.” Dhaka has consistently supported the two-state solution, reinforcing its commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Afghanistan: Condemning Zionist Actions
The Taliban-led Afghanistan, while condemning the conflict, laid the blame squarely on Israeli Zionists. The country accused the conflict of being a result of Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people and Muslim holy places. This viewpoint underscores the complex mix of historical affiliations and religious sentiment in the region.
South Asia’s Response Reflects Diversity
South Asia’s response to the Gaza crisis exemplifies the diversity of opinions and historical relationships in the region. The differing stances on the Hamas-Israel conflict, from Nepal’s diplomatic approach to India’s changing allegiances, reflect the intricate geopolitical landscape of the region. One thing is clear: the region remains committed to the vision of a two-state solution that brings lasting peace to the Israel-Palestine conflict. As the situation continues to evolve, South Asian nations will undoubtedly play a unique role in shaping the path towards resolution.