The BRICS summit meeting has started in Goa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the forum to keep up his attack on Pakistan, describing it as the ‘mother ship’ of terrorism which is like a direct threat to the eco prosperity of the region. It quite seemed like terrorism was the theme of this meeting at every point. With India labeling Pakistan a terrorist state in the wake of the attack on the Army camp at Uri, Modi has used multiple forums like the G-20 meeting at Hangzhou and the Asean conclave in Laos to lash out at Pakistan for supporting terrorism. “Tragically, its (terrorism) mother ship is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi said in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan’s longstanding ally, at a restricted BRICS meeting.
At Hangzhou and Laos, he accused one country of spreading terrorism, where Modi stopped just short of directly naming Pakistan. “We agreed that those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor forces of violence and terror are as much a threat to us as the terrorists themselves,” Modi said, as he insisted there was unanimity within BRICS on the issue of terrorism.
But the Chinese articulation was more muted. Speaking during the plenary session, Xi Jinping said it was imperative to step up coordination on major international issues, “regional hot-spots” and find a political solution to these. Interestingly, Chinese reports on Saturday’s Modi-Xi meeting did not contain any mention on counter-terrorism.
While the Goa Declaration issued after the Brics summit did not mention cross-border terrorism mainly due to China’s resistance, it contained some significant differences from previous outcome documents. It noted the responsibility of all states to prevent terrorist activities from their territories. And importantly, in the context of India’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control, it listed dismantling of terrorist bases among measures needed for a comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism.