India will root for joint efforts to address terrorism including action against countries providing safe havens and arms to terrorists at the BRICS summit next week in Goa.
Apart from the heads of governments of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa who will attend the BRICS Summit on October 16, India has also received consent of Prime Ministers of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar (State Counsellor) for the outreach meet of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
The BRICS summit is taking place in the backdrop of deteriorating Indo-Pak relations following an attack by Pakistan-based terrorists at army base in Uri that killed 19 soldiers and retaliatory surgical strikes by India to neutralise terror launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC).
Briefing reporters, secretary (Economic relations) in external affairs ministry Amar Sinha said, “Agenda is drawn in a broad-brush manner. We will be looking at global economic and political situation. Obviously terrorism is very important part of that.”
Though he said the issue of China blocking ban on Masood Azhar, chief of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad by the UN will not be taken up at BRICS because it was a bilateral issue with China and India does not want to bring such issues to the multilateral forum, he asserted that general principles pertaining to terrorism will be forcefully taken up.
And that will include “terrorism which 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,” Sinha said.
He added that “there would be very strong paragraphs (in the BRICS outcome document) on terrorism including how to deal with countries that provide sanctuaries and safe havens. How to cut down the financing.
“At NSA-level meet, we have also actually shifted the goalpost a little by talking about not only sources of finances but also sources from where they (terrorists) get arms and ammunition. These will be reflected in the BRICS discussions.”
India will also make efforts to revive BIMSTEC which assumes significance with the collapse of recent Saarc Summit after four countries apart from India pulled out of the meet Pakistan was scheduled to host in November over the issue of cross-border terrorism, maintaining that environment was not conducive for the summit.
Three MoUs including those on cooperation in the area of environment and customs have been agreed upon by the BRICS countries, Sinha said, adding the pact pertaining to customs will help in breaking the trade barriers among these countries.
The other key issues to be taken up during these significant diplomatic outreach events include cooperation in areas of economy, tourism, connectivity, culture, education and sports
(With agency inputs)