Bahrain's efforts to restore stability backed
Manama, August 6, 2011
A former Nato deputy commander has gone public to defend Bahrain's efforts to restore stability following anti-government protests in February.
Lieutenant General Peter Pearson (retired) suggests "one-sided" reporting of the situation ignored violence by protesters and should not detract from the government's efforts at dialogue.
Lt Gen Pearson made the comments in an article that appeared in British newspaper The Telegraph yesterday.
"Even as order was being restored, sadly at the cost of two dozen lives, the reality of sectarian violence loomed," he wrote.
"Reporting was one sided. For example, it never reached the public domain that Sunnis needing medical treatment at the Salmaniya hospital were pre-screened out. Some arriving in ambulances were attacked. Sunni migrant workers from the Indian Sub-continent were also attacked. Four were killed and one had his tongue cut out."
He warned the consequences of an internal conflict in Bahrain would have had global repercussions.
"Iran would have been emboldened; Sunni Arabs in Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia, would have felt increasingly insecure and almost certainly taken action; the world economy would have taken a knock from the impact of higher oil prices; the West would have lost a firmly western-looking ally; and extreme Islamist elements in Pakistan and around the world would have felt emboldened," he said. – TradeArabia News Service