India is expected to push its strategy to isolate Pakistan diplomatically for sponsoring terrorism and sheltering terrorists when leaders of 10 countries gather in Goa this weekend for the BRICS summit and a Bay of Bengal grouping’s outreach meet.
The BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, summit is slated for October 15 and 16 in the seaside state. Members of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will meet the BRICS leaders on October 16.
Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have bilateral meetings with the visiting dignitaries.
The Modi government is likely to use this opportunity to voice its concern over cross-border terrorism, especially after Pakistan-based militants killed 18 soldiers — mostly sleeping in their barracks — during an attack on an army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.
From BRICS summits in the Russian cities of Yekaterinburg in 2009 and Ufa in 2014 to Goa, Indian diplomatic focus has been and will be the strained ties with Pakistan, a neighbour New Delhi accuses of pursuing terrorism as a state policy and sheltering militants.
This time around, Modi is likely to stress the need for countries to deny sanctuaries to terrorists and take a relook at the way UN designates terrorists during bilateral meetings, sources said.
When he meets Chinese president Xi Jingping on Saturday, Modi may urge him to relax Beijing’s objection to the UN Sanctions Committee designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. India blamed the Pakistan-based outfit for the attack on the airbase in Pathanokot in January and the Uri army base this September.
India has been playing all cards possible to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri attack. Five of the BIMSTEC countries — India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka — are part of the Saarc grouping as well. The Saarc meeting slated for November in Islamabad was postponed after India linked cross-border terrorism with regional cooperation, successfully getting the support of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan.