BRICS nations on Sunday unanimously condemnedterrorism in all its forms, including the terror attacks on India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a comprehensive response to this global scourge.
“We strongly condemn the recent several attacks, against some BRICS countries, including that in India,” the Goa Declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Eighth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit here stated.
“We agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism both at the bilateral level and at international fora.”
The statement comes after last month’s cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers..
India has blamed the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) for the wanton attack.
New Delhi has since launched a diplomatic blitz to isolate Islamabad in the international community while the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
In the plenary meeting of the BRICS leaders before the adoption of the Goa Declaration, Prime Minister Modi called for a comprehensive response to the scourge of terrorism.
“Our response to terrorism must, therefore, be nothing less than comprehensive. And, we need to act both individually and collectively,” he said.
In what can be seen as a reference to China putting on technical hold the inclusion of the name of Jaish-e-Mohammed’s leader Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council’s list of designated terrorists, Modi said that selective approaches to terrorist individuals and organisations would not only be futile but also counter-productive.
“There must be no distinction based on artificial and self-serving grounds,” he said.
Addressing the media after the conclusion of the summit, the Prime Minister said that the BRICS leaders “were unanimous in recognising the threat that terrorism, extremism and radicalisation presents, not just to the regional and global peace, stability and economic prosperity, but also to our society, our way of life and humanity as a whole”.
“We were also one in agreeing that BRICS need to work together and act decisively to combat this threat,” he said.
Without naming Pakistan, Modi said: “We also 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.”
Earlier in the day, in a restricted meeting of the BRICS leaders, Modi said that the “mothership of terrorism” was in India’s neighbourhood and linked to terror modules across the world.
He also said that the neighbouring country sheltered not just terrorists but also “nurtures a mindset” which backs terrorism for political gains.
At Sunday’s plenary meeting, the Prime Minister also said that the footprint of intra-BRICS engagement has expanded to include large areas of economic activity.
He said the establishment of New Development Bank by the BRICS countries and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement were “signature achievements”.
“In a world of new security challenges and continuing economic uncertainties, BRICS stands as a beacon of peace, potential and promise,” the Prime Minister said.
He laid stress on institution building within the BRICS nations.
“We look forward to translating into reality the idea of a BRICS Credit Rating Agency,” he said.
“We must also speed up the work on setting up BRICS Agriculture Research Centre, BRICS Railway Research Network, and BRICS Sports Council.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for deepening the partnership between the BRICS nations while stating these five nations were “good friends, brothers and partners that treat each other with sincerity”.
South African President Jacob Zuma said that the world was faced with new inter-connected challenges “which require our concerted efforts to resolve”.
Reflecting Zuma’s view, Brazilian President Michel Temer said that the BRICS nations faced similar challenges and these five nations should come together to overcome them.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was of the view that industrial cooperation between the BRICS nations should become more effective.