BENAULIM: Host Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his officials, pushed for the BRICS summit Goa Declaration to specifically mention "cross-border terrorism" that India was faced with and also the names of Pakistani based terror outfits. However, it failed to convince the other member states.
While the Goa Declaration called upon countries to ensure that their territory is not used for terrorist activities, in many ways it did not deliver the knockout blow to Pakistan which many had come to expect in the light of PM Narendra Modi's relentless focus on cross-border terrorism
The Goa declaration didn't refer either to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which is headed by Masood Azhar, the man India believes was behind the Pathankot terrorist attack, or the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) allegedly involved in 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
It did, however, name such groups as the Islamic State, Jabat-al-Nasra, the Syrian Islamist rebel group, and other UN designated groups. Amar Sinha, India’s chief negotiator in the BRICS, said that India couldn't get a consensus on naming Pakistan-based terrorist outfits since it doesn't concern all the BRICS countries.
Other BRICS leaders, particularly Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, focused their speeches on strengthening the BRICS economic integration. All other leaders sidestepped the Indian PM’s push for criticism of Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism.
Another agreement that eluded the BRICS summit was on setting up a credit ratings agency. However, it was felt that such institutions needed to have credibility and there was a need for experts to study the proposal in greater detail.
Asked why cross-border terrorism could not be included in the declaration, Sinha said India focused on concepts and ideas and not on specific terms. "We were focused on the ideas we wanted to be included. And if you look at what the joint statement says, I think it is pretty clear that we are talking about our neighbourhood,"' he said.
The declaration also called for adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN general assembly without further delay. Modi has taken up CCIT with all world leaders he has met in the past two years and early adoption of CCIT has been mentioned in Brics declarations in the past as well.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through his three statements on Sunday, tried to name and shame Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “political solutions” to “regional hotspots” in a reference to the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not make any reference to terrorism in his statement.