PM Narendra Modi At BRICS Summit Refers To Pak As ‘Mother-Ship Of Terror’
BENAULIM, GOA:Without naming Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded it a “mother-ship of terrorism” at the BRICS summit in Goa, escalating his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan.
PM Modi was addressing a meeting of leaders from the BRICS – a grouping of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. Heavyweight member China is a close ally of Pakistan.
“In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development,” the foreign ministry quoted PM Modi as saying. “Tragically, the mother-ship of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” the 66-year-old Prime Minister said without directly naming Pakistan.
No immediate reaction was available from Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
Tension between India and Pakistan had escalated since an attack on September 18 on an army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri in which 19 soldiers had died. Pakistan denied any role in the attack.
PM Modi’s comments on Sunday followed a productive bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that yielded billions of dollars in defence and energy deals.
The BRICS leaders had donned brightly coloured sleeveless jackets, of a style made popular by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, for an informal dinner on Saturday evening.
Later today, they are expected to hold an outreach session with leaders from a little-known group of countries from the Bay of Bengal region.
Lack Of Strategic Restraint
PM Modi’s hard line against Pakistan marks a departure from India’s tradition of strategic restraint, and New Delhi has won expressions of support from both the West and Russia over the Uri attack.
Yet China, a longstanding ally of Pakistan, which plans to build a $46 billion export corridor, has shown public restraint.
PM Modi and President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting on Saturday and the accounts of their conversation emerging from both sides pointed to key differences of opinion.
In one remark reported by the state Xinhua news agency, Xi said that China and India should “support each other in participating in regional affairs and enhance cooperation within multilateral frameworks”.
The dispatch went on to refer to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). This grouping includes Pakistan, which was to have hosted a summit in November that collapsed after India and other members pulled out.
The final BRICS summit declaration was expected to repeat earlier condemnations of “terrorism in all its forms”, say diplomats and analysts, but avoid levelling blame over tensions between India and Pakistan.
“So far, we haven’t seen any indication at all that China is softening its public support for Pakistan. India did not expect differently,” said South Asia expert Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.