India is expected to continue with its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism originating from there when it plays host to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and leaders of Brazil and South Africa at the Summit of five-nation BRICS grouping here on Sunday.
Even preceding the BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to raise these issues with Putin and Xi on Saturday when a series of bilateral meetings are slated at the seaside venue.
With the Summits taking place within weeks of Uri terror strike by Pak-based terrorists, India will be forceful in its demand at BRICS Summit, which will also have a BIMSTEC outreach meet, for intensified efforts to tackle terrorism including action against countries providing safe havens to terrorists and arming them.
India has made strong references both at UNGA as well as G-20 regarding Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without naming Pakistan at G-20, had said that “one single nation in South Asia” is spreading “agents of terror” in the region and it must be isolated while External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the UNGA had said confessions of captured terrorists involved in terror strikes in India including in Uri “is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror”.
Apart from the heads of governments of BRICS to attend the Summit on October 16, Prime Ministers of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar (State Counsellor) will be here to participate in the BRICS-BIMSTEC outreach meet.
New Delhi will also make all out efforts to revive Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) when Prime Ministers of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar (State Counsellor) attend the BRICS-BIMSTEC outreach meet.
This also assumes significance given the collapse of recent SAARC Summit after four countries apart from India pulled out of the meet to be hosted by Pakistan over the issue of cross-border terrorism, maintaining that environment was not conducive to hold such an event.
Indian officials have made it clear that India’s effort would be to have strong language in the BRICS outcome document on terrorism including how to deal with countries that provide sanctuaries, safe havens and finances.
“Terrorism is a global problem. It cannot be tackled individually and has to be tackled collectively. We cannot
have a differential policy towards terrorism. There is no good terrorist or bad terrorist. So, these are the issues on which there will reiteration of national positions,” Secretary (Economic Relations) in External Affairs Ministry Amar Sinha had said.
During the meeting of NSAs of BRICS grouping, India had strongly pitched that action should not only be taken against sources of finances but also sources from where terrorists get arms and ammunition.
Three MoUs including those on cooperation in the area of environment and customs have been agreed upon by the BRICS countries, Sinha had said, adding the pact pertaining to customs will help in breaking the trade barriers between these countries.
The other key issues to be taken up during these significant diplomatic outreach events include cooperation in areas of economy, tourism, connectivity, cultural, education and sports.
The main BRICS Summit on October 16 will begin with a photo opportunity followed by restricted talks between the leaders and later a meeting of business captains from the member-countries. In the second half, after the speech of the leaders, there will be BRICS and BIMSTEC retreat.
Security situation in Afghanistan, Syria and Sudan is also expected to be discussed when the BRICS leaders take up important regional and international issues.