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H I G H  S E A S : P S I
Bushwhacking the seas
The US is bent on disrupting the tranquility of the hydrosphere

The recent tie up of the US Navy with other nations for checking proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by patrolling the high seas is none but malevolent. The initiative may convert the tranquil hydrosphere into another war zone on earth.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) had demarcated 12 nautical miles of the high seas as the territorial waters of a country and another 200 nautical miles as Exclusive Economic Zone. The vast deep blue sea (beyond 212 nautical miles) has been deemed to be the ‘Heritage of Humanity’, which is beyond the jurisdiction and control of any nation. Only the UN is legally sanctioned to control, regulate or check any movement in that area.

The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was launched by the US in 2003, challenges exactly that. Seeking to stop and search ships sailing in the high seas, the PSI has been portrayed as the means to control proliferation of WMDs and terrorism. Drawing support from as many as 75 countries that include Australia, Japan, Singapore and others, the PSI has great potential to turn into a Frankenstein. US collaboration for PSI has seen strange bedfellows and bitter resentment. India has ironically agreed to rally behind the US, while China has not only rejected the concept, but also questioned its legality.

It is evident that PSI is none but a new US initiative aimed at strengthening their world power status, through the vast expanse of the ocean. The US & Japanese navies have already encircled North Korea by thoroughly militarising the Sea of Japan. Commencing with the annihilation of the axis of evil, George W. Bush is consolidating the influence of the US. International law in this light has been mere fodder to the ever growing US appetite for power.

Sray Agarwal & Akram Haque

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