Demand in LS for resolution condemning airstrikes on Libya
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav raised the issue which led to an impromptu discussion with almost all members ranging from the Left to the BJP condemning the air strikes on Libya by the US-led allied forces.
At the same time, they expressed their support to those striving for democracy in the north African oil-rich nation ruled for over four decades by Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
"The Lok Sabha has to condemn the attack on Libya.
Innocent civilians have been killed and Parliament cannot keep quiet," Yadav said.
Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) said the House should condemn the brutal attack on Libya and recalled that the Lok Sabha had deplored the aggression of Iraq by the US.
He, as also Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), appreciated the stand taken by the Government on Libya, but said it was not enough.
"In the name of unseating Gadaffi, thousands of innocent Libyans are being killed in the NATO bombings. Another Iraq and another Afghanistan is being created," Dasgupta said.
"We are against Gadaffi but do not believe in NATO bombings. It is a war for oil," he said.
NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav termed the attacks on Libya as a serious matter and wanted India to take a strong position against it.
Associating with the views expressed by the members, Yashwant Sinha (BJP) supported a unanimous resolution of the House condemning the external aggression against Libya.
"We are extremely concerned about what is happening in Libya. We are completely with the democratic forces struggling against an authoritarian regime. We are against any military intervention to enforce regime change," Sinha said calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Mehboob Beg (NC) appreciated the stand taken by the government and pitched for a middle path to provide succor to the Libyan people.
"America`s coercive tactics have been increasing over the years. It treats the UN Security Council as its pet cat," Sharifuddin Shariq (NC) said.
Ratan Singh Ajnala (SAD) and Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) said their parties associated with the views expressed by the members, while Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) said Parliament should not be a mute spectator.
Sudip Bandopadhyay (Trinamool Congress) said his party totally appreciated the stand taken by the government which has risen to the occasion by taking a firm position against the US.
Bhratruhari Mahtab (BJD) noted that Libya was a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and was "not Egypt".
He said India has done the proper thing by abstaining from voting in favour of the resolution at the UNSC.
E T Mohammed Basheer (Muslim League) alleged that the US was trying to create confusion in the Arab world.
Nama Nageshwara Rao (TDP) said a strong message should be sent by the Lok Sabha against the action of the allied forces.
Responding to the concerns expressed by members, Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee said the government has already expressed its unhappiness over the intervention of allied countries against Libya.
"No external powers should interfere in it… What is happening in Libya is an internal affair of that country," he said.
"Nobody, no two or three countries can take a decision to change a particular regime in a third country," Mukherjee said.
"Whether a regime will change or not will depend on the people of that particular country, not by any external forces," he said.
India has regretted the air strikes by the US-led coalition forces in Libya and called upon all the parties to abjure use of force and resolve the differences through peaceful means.
An External Affairs Ministry statement said India hoped that the air strikes would not harm innocent civilians, foreign nationals and diplomatic missions and their personnel, who are still in Libya.
The UN Security Council had last week adopted a resolution, calling for an immediate ceasefire and authorised all necessary measures for protecting civilians in Libya from Gaddafi`s forces.
On Saturday, French jets fired the first shots in `Operation Odyssey Dawn`, the biggest international military intervention in the Arab world since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, destroying tanks and armoured vehicles in eastern Libya.
They were joined by the US and the UK who fired over 110 Tomahawk missiles from American and British ships and submarines, hitting Libyan air and missile defence targets in the capital Tripoli and along the Mediterranean coast.