Categories: News

major diplomatic achievement

The release of eight former Indian sailors by Qatar is a great news for their family and close ones as well as for the entire country. These former marines, working in a private shipping company, were detained in an alleged case of espionage in August last year. In October, a lower court in Qatar sentenced him to death. India had described this decision as extremely worrying and had promised to provide all possible legal assistance to the former marines. The most notable turn in this episode came when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad met in Dubai on December 1. Both the leaders had reached Dubai for the United Nations Climate Conference. Although no official information was given by India and Qatar whether the arrest and punishment of former Indian sailors was discussed in this meeting or not, but after that the matter started progressing rapidly. At that time, Prime Minister Modi had only said that both the leaders talked about the possibilities of bilateral cooperation and Indians working in Qatar.

Immediately after this meeting, on December 3, the Indian Embassy in Qatar got permission to contact the ex-marines and necessary legal assistance started being provided to the ex-marines. The petition prepared with India’s cooperation was accepted by the upper court and the first hearing took place there on December 7. The court overturned the death sentence on 28 December. Then the hope increased that the former marines would return to the country. It is noteworthy that a large number of Indians are working in various Gulf countries and other Arab countries including Qatar. Those countries have often underlined that Indians have played an important role in the prosperity and development of those countries. These Indians also contribute a lot to the foreign exchange reserves of our country. We buy large quantities of oil and natural gas from many countries including Qatar. India’s relations with those countries have always been good, but during the tenure of Prime Minister Modi, not only have relations strengthened, but Prime Minister Modi has established closeness with the leaders of those countries on a personal level. Recently the agreement for purchase of natural gas with Qatar has been extended. The release of former marines within a short time indicates that this success is the result of the efforts of Prime Minister Modi and the activeness of our diplomats. India has expressed gratitude to the Emir of Qatar. Certainly this release will improve relations between India and Qatar.

Harshita

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