India has “outmanoeuvred” Pakistan by effectively branding it as a “regional pariah” during Goa BRICS-BIMSTEC summit where the country presented itself as a “bright spot”, strengthening its case for the NSG membership and a permanent seat in UNSC, state-run Chinese media said on Wednesday.
“Given the uneasy background of Indo-Pak tension, which escalated last month, India’s inclusion of BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) bore even thicker geo-strategic connotations,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.
“As India invited all countries in the region except Pakistan, it in effect consigned Pakistan to be a regional pariah,” the article titled ‘India uses BRICS to outmanoeuvre Pakistan’, said.
Referring to India’s decision not to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit to be held in Islamabad after the Uri attack, it said, “The collapse of the SAARC summit presented India a rare opportunity to get rid of any constraints Islamabad may have over the regional group, as the same group would soon gather in Goa in the absence of Pakistan”.
BIMSTEC also made a major difference for India at the Goa summit, it said.
“A major difference between the Goa summit and the previous ones was that New Delhi put the (BIMSTEC) in tandem with the BRICS meeting,” it said.
By bringing regional countries - Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan - together with the major emerging economies of the BRICS, the daily said, India breathed legitimacy and substance into an otherwise “hallow and moribund acronym organisation”.
“While the rest of the BRICS members would never openly endorse either side in the Indo-Pak tension, India in a way secured its stance vis-à-vis Pakistan by taking advantages of its agenda-setting powers for the summits,” it said.
“While the prospect of BIMSTEC as a more effective alternative to SAARC remains ambiguous, a subcontinent grouping without Pakistan balancing and checking a dominant India may well raise suspicions and fear for smaller countries,” it said.
The summit also helped India to push for its membership in the NSG , which was blocked by China, as well as for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC), it said.
“The BRICS summit brings India an ideal mechanism to articulate and push for its reformist demands together with like-minded countries. This common front became particularly valuable for New Delhi, especially as its arduous bids for Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG) membership as well as for a permanent seat on an enlarged United Nation Security Council have both met frustration,” it said.