Role of the CENTO or the Baghdad Pact

Role of the CENTO:

According to Harold Guise, “The whole Middle East area today resembles a huge chessboard for economic and political manoeuvre system matched anywhere else. The complex struggle for post-war economic and political power is nowhere so potentially disrupting as in that part of the world”. According to the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Baghdad Pact, which was avowedly meant to bring security to West Asia, was about the most potent instrument devised to do everything contrary to what it was intended to do. It is really extraordinary, everything that it was intended to do resulted in doing the very opposite of it. You can see it step by step from the day the Baghdad Pact came into existence, and I have no doubt that so long as the Baghdad Pact exists, it would continue to undermine the policy which it is supposed to represent”. On another occasion our late Prime Minister observed that the Baghdad Pact “has already brought disruption, insecurity and discontent in Western Asia”. Again, “The Baghdad Pact and the SEATO affect us intimately and in a sense tend to encircle us in two or three directions”. They are a continuous menace to India. According to late President Rajendra Prasad, “The policy or military pacts has led to deterioration in the situation in West Asia, creating division of the Arab world and resulting in the building up of armaments in West Asia”. According to Krishna Menon, “The Baghdad Pact and the SEATO encircle the Indian Peninsula by a military combination by no means friendly to the unaligned neutral countries of Asia”.

According to Late President Marshal Tito, “I consider the Baghdad Pact does not serve the interests of the people and countries in this part of the world because it disunites them, it constitutes no kind of wall of defence whatsoever against anyone”. The Pact was an element of disruption rather than an element of unification of the Arab and other states. “It introduces new elements of unrest and creates a new focus of conflict”.

According to Late President Nasser, “The defence of the Middle East concerns only the countries of the region and we reject the guardianship of any country or group of countries. We are fully resolved to defend our freedom with our armed forces”. To defend themselves against the powers of the Pact, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia entered into a Mutal Defence Agreement during the latter half of 1955 and solemnly pledged themselves to regard “armed aggression against the forces of either country as an aggression against the other”. In such an eventually, each party would render immediate aid to the other, and bring to bear all means at its disposal, including recourse to armed forces, to repel the aggression and to restore peace and security”.

According to the Russian government, the pact involves the setting up in the Middle and Near East of military alignment which is a tool of certain aggressive circles that are not interested in the strengthening of peace and international security. “The setting up of such an alignment had for its objective the retention and restoration of the colonial dependence of the countries of that area”.

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