Committee Against War On Iraq

  Press Release

A Committee Against War on Iraq was formed after a meeting at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, on October 26, 2002. The meeting was convened by Harkishan Singh Surjeet, General Secretary of the CPI(M).

The US Government is taking serious steps to launch a military attack on Iraq in flagrant violation of all international laws. The United States has arrogated to itself the right to decide who should govern Iraq. The talk of “regime change” in Iraq is a threat to the sovereignty of all countries. The war will lead to massive destruction and loss of life. The Vajpayee government is not taking a firm position opposing the war moves of the United States.

The Committee will mobilize all sections of the Indian people to demand No War On Iraq. For this purpose, as the first step in this campaign, there will be a big protest demonstration opposing the US war on Iraq at New Delhi. The demonstration will be held on November 14, 2002.

The meeting was attended by leaders of various political parties and representatives of trade unions, social organizations and representatives from women, student and youth organizations.

Among those who attended the meeting were former Prime Minister, Shri V.P. Singh, Amar Singh (Samajwadi Party), Salman Khursheed (Congress), A.B. Bardhan and D Raja (CPI), Harkishan Singh Surjeet and Prakash Karat [CPI(M)], Kunwar Danish Ali (JD-S), G. Devarajan (F.B), Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPI-ML) etc. Shri I.K. Gujaral and leaders of the RSP and the RJD could not attend the meeting but sent their concurrence for the committee. Among the others who attended were Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan (All India Muslim Majlis –e- Mushawarat), Prakash Louis (Indian Social Institute), Seema Mustafa (journalist), representatives from trade unions and representatives of students, teachers, youth, women and teachers organisations.

The statement adopted at the meeting is being appended herewith.

Press Statement

The United States is going ahead with its plans for a military attack on Iraq. There are no grounds whatsoever for this flagrant violation of international law and the national sovereignty of Iraq. Since 1991, Iraq has been subjected to severe sanctions which has caused great damage to the country’s economy. Tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens particularly children have lost their lives due to malnutrition and lack of medicines and essential medical equipment. Till 1998, United Nations weapons inspectors had gone through all installations to dismantle any potential for production of weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush has declared that America’s aim is for a “regime change” in Iraq. The Bush administration is prepared to accept nothing less than the removal of President Saddam Hussein. This is totally unacceptable and smacks of imperial arrogance. Such a stand poses a danger to the sovereignty of all countries.

The US government is pressurizing the United Nations and the Security Council to adopt a resolution which can provide the pretext for a military attack on Iraq. The Bush administration has made it clear that even if the United Nations does not go along with its untenable stand, it is prepared to go ahead with its unilateral act of aggression.

A war on Iraq will cause unimaginable destruction. Thousands of lives will be lost and the country devastated. It will create new tensions which will threaten world peace. Already the stand of the United States has led to a wave of anger among the people in all Arab countries. Use of brute military force will only strengthen the forces of terrorism. India’s interests will be seriously harmed by such a war.

All over the world people are coming out into the streets to protest against the threat of war against Iraq. The Indian people cherish the close ties that our country has with Iraq and its people. We demand that the Vajpayee government, not remain silent. It must take a firm stand opposing the US moves for war. It must rally international opinion against such a blatant act of aggression against a friendly country.
To reflect the views of the people we are setting up a committee to say “No War On Iraq”. The Committee Against War on Iraq will work to mobilize all sections of the people to oppose the US plans for war and express solidarity with Iraq.