Mint Explainer: Decoding India’s response to Qatar’s dying sentence to eight Indians

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By Dainik Khabre

Mint Explainer: Decoding India’s response to Qatar’s dying sentence to eight Indians

India’s sturdy, if unremarkable, relationship with Qatar could also be in for a tough spell after a court docket within the Arab nation sentenced eight Indian naval veterans to dying. While Qatar has not made the fees public, media studies point out that the lads had been held for espionage. Mint seems to be on the case and its implications for India-Qatar ties.

Case background 

In August 2022, eight former naval veterans had been arrested by Qatar and held in solitary confinement. No clear prices or causes for his or her arrest had been made public. The males had been workers of Al Dahra, a consulting agency working with Qatar’s navy. Media studies, citing authorities and intelligence sources, say that the eight males had been arrested on prices of espionage. The trial started in March this yr and on Thursday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs mentioned {that a} Qatari court docket had sentenced the eight males to dying.

India-Qatar relations: A snapshot

Historically, India and Qatar have loved a beneficial relationship. Energy, particularly liquefied pure fuel (LNG) exports from Qatar to India, is a significant factor of their commerce relationship, which was valued at $5 billion in 2021-22. Investment avenues have all the time been open, with Qatar investing $1 billion in Reliance Retail and its FDI in India rising 5 instances since 2020. Defence is one other key space, marked by India providing coaching to Qatari forces and a defence cooperation settlement signed in 2008. Qatar can be residence to 844,499 Indian staff. High-level visits from leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, vice presidents Dhankar and Naidu, and exterior affairs minister S Jaishankar additional emphasize the closeness.

India’s response

India’s response to the decision has been measured. The nation’s management has avoided publicizing the problem or criticizing Qatar overtly. New Delhi has persistently confused the significance of the well-being of the detained males, making certain it does not seem as intervention in Qatar’s authorized affairs. The Indian Foreign Ministry’s official response has been subdued, saying that they are going to proceed liaising with Qatari officers and assist the affected households. Some specialists recommend that India would possibly work in the direction of a governmental decision for the detainees. It’s been famous that earlier makes an attempt by Indian intelligence to persuade Qatari safety in regards to the detainees’ innocence weren’t profitable.

Potential impression on bilateral relations

It’s unsure how this may affect India-Qatar ties. India’s restrained method suggests it is cautious about affecting its financial and power ties with Qatar. However, this stance is likely to be examined if there is a vital home uproar in India over the problem. A major twist, as reported by ThePrint, claims the detained males had been suspected of relaying details about Qatar’s categorized submarine mission to Israel. This revelation, if true, might complicate issues, particularly contemplating issues that Qatar would possibly share its submarine tech with Pakistan, an in depth ally.

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