India is expected to continue with its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism when it plays host to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese premier Xi Jinping and leaders of Brazil and South Africa at a summit of the five-nation BRICS grouping in Goa.
Even preceding the BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to raise these issues with Putin and Xi on Saturday, when a series of bilateral meetings are slated at the seaside venue in Panaji.
With the summit taking place within weeks of Uri terror strike by Pakistan-based militants, India will be forceful in its demand at BRICS Summit, which will also have a BIMSTEC outreach meet, for intensified efforts to tackle terrorism, including action against countries providing safe havens to terrorists and arming them, a source said.
India has made strong references at the United Nations General Assembly and the G-20 regarding Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism.
Modi, without naming Pakistan at G-20, had said that “one single nation in South Asia” is spreading “agents of terror” in the region and it must be isolated, while external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said at the UNGA confessions of captured terrorists involved in terror strikes in India, including in Uri, “is a living proof of Pakistan’s complicity in cross-border terror”.
Apart from the heads of governments of BRICS, prime ministers of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar (State Counsellor) will participate in the BRICS-BIMSTEC outreach meet.
New Delhi will also make all out efforts to revive Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) when the leaders meet.
This also assumes significance given the collapse of recent SAARC Summit after four countries apart from India pulled out of the meet to be hosted by Pakistan over the issue of cross-border terrorism, maintaining that environment was not conducive to hold such an event.
Indian officials have made it clear that India’s effort would be to have strong language in the BRICS outcome document on terrorism including how to deal with countries that provide sanctuaries, safe havens and finances.