Goa, October 17 (NIA) : The BRICS summit at Goa, had refused to endorse Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stand on united action against “cross border terrorism” and his characterization of Pakistan as the “Mothership of Terrorism”.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping had thrown a spanner in Modi’s works by asking members to address “both symptoms and root causes of terrorism”, thereby putting India and Pakistan on par.
There was no consensus across the five-nation bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, about naming Pakistan-based terror groups. There was no corroboration in the Goa Declaration of Modi’s claim that the Goa summit had “agreed that those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor such forces of violence and terror are as much a threat to us as the terrorists themselves.”
All this despite Modi’s taking every opportunity to hammer his point about naming and shaming Pakistan.
The start of the summit itself indicated that India was on a weak wicket. In the plenary session, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, made no mention of terror. But later at the outreach event, he did talk of the need to “collectively” fight the menace. In his press conference with Russian journalists, his focus was on ISIL in Syria, Iraq and Libya and not on Pakistan-sponsored terror in India. Neither Brazilian President Michel Temer nor the South African President Jacob Zuma mentioned terrorism.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke about terrorism but clubbed it with other “global challenges” which have led to a “complex and volatile external environment for BRICS countries”.
He mentioned terrorism as a challenge along with infectious diseases and climate change.
But the message to India was contained in the sentence: “We should also address issues on the ground with concrete efforts and a multi-pronged approach that addresses both symptoms and root causes.”
In other words, Xi said that Pakistan is not entirely responsible for the trouble and that the problem in Kashmir is home grown and not just externally fostered.
Xi’s speech had immediately followed Modi’s and was therefore a kind of on- the-spot rebuttal of the Indian contention that terrorism in India is entirely imported from Pakistan.
The Goa Declaration, released at the end of the summit, obliquely referred to the Uri attack but did not use the ‘terrorism’ word for it.
“We strongly condemn the recent several attacks, against some BRICS countries, including that in India”. It also recognized the “responsibility of all states to prevent terrorist actions from their territories.”
“ We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons,” the Declaration said in general terms.
The Declaration said the international comprehensive approach to fighting terror should include “dismantling terrorist bases”, and blocking the movement of terrorists including foreign terrorist fighters and financing terrorism, misuse of social media by terror. India could derive some solace from this.
India tried to make the best of a bad job by saying that the BRICS document, being a multilateral one, could not be specific about issues and what finally emerged was a consensus formulation.
India drew satisfaction from the fact that the menace of terrorism was mentioned at length. “The message is very clear. You don’t have to spell out everything,” said Indian official Amar Sinha.
According to the External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup, the “language had definitely been strengthened.”