At the end of two-day BRICS Summit in Goa on Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa for recognising terror, extremism and radicalisation as major threats to the modern world. In his concluding remarks, the PM said it was agreed at the summit that all the five member countries of the grouping would take necessary actions against those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor forces of violence and terror in order to deal with the menace.
In the presence of Brazilian President Michel Temer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jingping and South African President Jacob Zuma, the Indian premier announced that BRICS nations would work together to ensure global peace, stability and economic prosperity.
“We underscored the need for close co-ordination on tracking sources of terrorist financing and target the hardware of terrorism, including weapons’ supplies, ammunition, equipment and training,” Modi told the audience.
Although the ‘Goa Declaration’ called upon countries to ensure that their territory is not used for terrorist activities, it made no mention of India-specific terror groups, such as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Secretary (Economic Relations) of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Amar Sinha explained that New Delhi only focussed on concepts and ideas, and not on specific terms.
However, Indian foreign policy experts are of the opinion that the recent Uri terror attack has not been mentioned in the Goa Declaration because of the differences between India and China over Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Chinese President Xi, in his 10-minute speech, talked about the need to find a “political solution” to “regional hotspots” in an oblique reference to Kashmir. He also called for concrete efforts and multi-pronged approach that address both “symptoms and root causes” to global challenges, like terrorism – an argument that is in tune with Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.
Even Russia was not ready to describe Pakistan as “mother ship of terror” in the Goa Declaration. President Putin did not make any reference to terrorism in his statement. A day after signing 16 agreements (including some major defence pacts) with India, the Russian president hinted that Moscow would maintain ‘cordial’ ties with Pakistan in a changing global geopolitical scenario.
So, the BRICS nations decided to fight global terror, and not “cross-border” terror (as demanded by India). Experts believe that the proximity between India and the US has an impact on the Indo-Russian and Sino-Indian relationships. The US has created a distance between India and these two countries by describing New Delhi as its ‘strategic’ partner in Asia.
Meanwhile, leaders of the five emerging economies have decided to set up an independent BRICS Rating Agency on the basis of market-oriented principles in an attempt to strengthen the global governance architecture. According to Prime Minister Modi, “the Goa declaration lays a comprehensive vision for co-operation within BRICS and international issues”. He said that BRICS felt the need to build norms, create structures and pool capacities to stop tax evasion, and fight against black money and corruption.
The next BRICS Summit will take place in China in 2017.