Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

No Indian Troops For Iraq

A report has appeared in the media that the Indian government is preparing to send troops to Iraq to assist the American occupation regime. This has not come as a surprise. The Vajpayee government is eager to extend cooperation to the United States in its occupation plans of Iraq. This was clear from the way the government was reluctant to take a firm stand opposing the US invasion.

The current visit of Richard Armitage, US Deputy Secretary of State, is not connected only with Indo-Pakistan relations, but with the role India can play in Iraq.

The spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs has stated that the government has received no request for troops and that troops will be sent only with UN authorisation. This statement does not deny that the sending of troops is under consideration. It is only waiting for the pretext of "UN authorisation". The CPI(M) strongly opposes the sending of Indian troops to Iraq for the following reasons:

a) Iraq is under US occupation after an illegal war and act of aggression.

b) The US has presented a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council, which wishes to legitimise US occupation for a year and calls for lifting of sanctions, so that the US can sell Iraqi oil to finance the reconstruction of Iraq.

c) The UN will not be the administrative agency with any powers in Iraq, which will be vested solely with the US-British authorities

The United States wants to "re-build" Iraq after destroying the country using Iraqi oil money. The Indian government cannot be party to such an immoral venture. Further, the US wants to withdraw a part of its troops and wants other countries, which are its loyal agents, to send troops to "police the country". Countries such as Hungary and Poland have already announced that they will send troops. India cannot be put in such a position, willing to service the US occupation. Indian troops cannot be placed in a position where they will be expected to put down Iraqi resistance to the occupation.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the Vajpayee government stop secret diplomacy with the United States on this issue. The Indian people who were opposed to the American war on Iraq will not accept the use of Indian troops for America’s mercenary purposes.