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India gets support from Russia and China in combating terror

A joint statement said Russia, India and China condemned terrorism “stressed that terrorist groups cannot be supported and used in political and geopolitical goals”.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2019 23:15 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Wuzhen
RIC meet,Sushma Swaraj,Anti-terror statement
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi before their meeting in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

India on Wednesday received support for its efforts to counter Pakistan-based terror groups from Russia and China, which said such organisations cannot be used for political goals and those committing terror attacks must be brought to justice.

A joint communiqué issued after the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) strongly condemned terrorism and said the three sides “stressed that terrorist groups cannot be supported and used in political and geopolitical goals”.

They said “those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism”, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Security Council resolutions and FATF standards. This action should be taken on the principle “extradite or prosecute”, they added.

The statement did not name Pakistan, though there was little doubt which country was being referred to in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack and India’s air strike on Tuesday on a Pakistani base of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which was blamed for the assault.

Also read: China again calls for restraint amid tensions between India and Pakistan

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj made a strong pitch for concerted international efforts to combat terror. She said she raised the Pulwama attack during meetings with her Russian and Chinese counterparts.

She said, “We need a global strategy, global cooperation to counter terrorism. I am happy to tell you today we discussed the establishment of a UN-led global counter-terrorism mechanism and finalising CCIT (Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism) proposed by India.”

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi spoke in a calibrated manner about tackling terror – Beijing and Islamabad are close allies – and said it is “especially important to eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism”. Wang, however, backed Pakistan’s counter-terror efforts, saying: “At the same time, we believe Pakistan has always been opposed to terrorism.”

He added, “On the recent developments between India and Pakistan, China appreciates the statements by Indian and Pakistani friends saying that they would exercise restraint and avoid escalation of the situation.

“As a mutual friend to both India and Pakistan, we do hope they can conduct dialogue to establish facts through investigations to keep things under control and maintain peace and stability in the region. In this process, China is playing a constructive role, not the opposite.”

Swaraj said given the threat posed by terror, a strategy by India, Russia and China wouldn’t be enough to face the challenge. “It’s not just a joint strategy but also our commitment...Terrorism is a threat to humanity, so a strategy by the three countries is not enough,” she said.

During a bilateral meeting with Wang on the margins of the RIC meet, Swaraj said the attack on India’s soldiers in Pulwama was carried out by JeM under cover and impunity given by Pakistan.

“The attack was carried by JeM, the Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation,” Swaraj said. “I am visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India. It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir,” she added.

Swaraj used her opening remarks at the RIC meet in Wuzhen, a picturesque water town in eastern Zhejiang province, to explain the reasons for India’s air strike at Balakot. “India does not wish to see a further escalation of the situation and India will continue to act with responsibility and restraint,” she said.

The pre-emptive strike was a “non-military action” and India had achieved its purpose of destroying a infrastructure of JeM following Pakistan’s continued refusal to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its soil.

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 22:52 IST