Qatar Should Prepare to Pay for Treachery Against Bahrain

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It’s coming out now. After being part of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council for some 36 years, it turns out that Qatar never was in synch with the policies of the other five GCC constituents. It felt restricted and suffocated holding loads of money but with no individual political clout to wield like Saudi Arabia or Abu Dhabi and no glamour like Dubai.

However, in its attempt to get noticed, it harboured and funded extremist and terrorist outfits and their leaders, cosied up to Iran to the extent that on August 24 it re-established diplomatic ties with the mullahs, and its Al Jazeera TV channel left no stone unturned in its quest to humiliate and denigrate Bahrain in particular [the latest instance being its bogus report alleging torture in Bahrain based on the statements by three imaginary and anonymous human rights organizations] and its fellow GCC and other Arab countries and their leaders in general.

The consequence was that three GCC countries and Egypt were compelled to cut their ties with Doha and place a range of embargoes on it.

However, it now turns out that Qatar leaders were also in cahoots with the anti-government outfits in Bahrain at the height of the 2011 troubles looking for regime change to plant pro-Iran stooges. This has been backed by the replay on Bahrain TV of the 2011 recordings of incriminating phone conversations between the banned Bahrain-based Al Wefaq political outfit leader Ali Salman [already in jail for anti-government activities] and the former prime minister of Qatar Shaikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani discussing the subversive plot.

Shaikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani.
Shaikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani.

By re-establishing full-fledged ties with Iran [which it had downgraded thus far] at a time when the other GCC constituents like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had snapped them, Qatar seems to have burnt its bridges and it is only a matter of time before the simmering pot of political potage boils over and Doha finds itself thrown out of the GCC.

But the troubles for Qatar might be just beginning, since, in view of the Ali Salman-Al Thani plot, the Bahrain government is planning to take the matter to the United Nations and will also file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in Geneva to seek compensation. It is not for the first time though that the two countries will face each other in ICJ. In 2001 Qatar’s claim on the Bahraini isles of Hawars was thrown out since every single document submitted by it turned out to be forged.

According to a statement issued by Bahraini MPs, “Countries calling for combating terrorism are urged to contribute to the dossier which will document Qatar’s role in subverting security and stability and interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign countries.” Engaging all citizens, official authorities, civil society organisations, the trading and social communities to contribute to Bahrain’s national dossier against Qatar is highly significant, they added.

Brij Sharma is an Indian journalist and editor based in Bahrain. Brij tells us the interesting stories we don’t usually hear from the middle east country.