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India asks BRICS to make no distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India has been unhappy about China’s continued efforts to defend Pakistan on the issue of terrorism
  • China has also blocked Indian attempts to question terror exports from Pakistan at the UN Security Council

BEIJING: India has sent out a clear message to BRICS countries including China that they should not believe in the narrative about a distinction between good and bad terrorists. Pakistani leaders have been trying to propagate this theory to protect a section of extremists, and China has shown no signs of discomfort about this narrative.

“On behalf of India, I pointed out that terrorism remains the most potent global menace and threatens global peace,” VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs said after attending the meeting of BRICS foreign ministers in Beijing on Monday.

“And terrorists cannot be differentiated by calling them good or bad,” he said during a joint press conference, which was also attended by foreign ministers of all countries in BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“They are terrorists, they are criminals and we need to have concerted actions both in the region and internationally to curb their activities,” Singh explained.

The meeting comes ahead of the BRICS summit of the heads of governments, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Xiamen city of southern China in September. Singh attended the meeting in place of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who could not come due to health reasons. This is the first visit by a amjor Indian minister since India boycotted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road summit on May 14.

BRICS countries have agreed that all kinds of terrorism must be condemned, and several measures need to be taken to enhance cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the minister said.

There was a need to expedite the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations. All the BRICS countries are supporting this move, he said.

“The BRICS agenda has witnessed steady expansion,” Singh said. “The joint working group on counter-terror concluded its meeting in May. Our NSAs are scheduled to meet next month. In their meeting last year, they reached significant understanding to enhance BRICS cooperation in security and counter-terrorism”.

India has been unhappy about China’s continued efforts to defend Pakistan on the issue of terrorism. China has also blocked Indian attempts to question terror exports from Pakistan at the UN Security Council.

BRICS has established a joint working group on counter-terrorism which held a meeting last month. The minister said that the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is expected to attend the upcoming meeting of NSAs of the five countries in Beijing next month. The meeting will also discuss terror and security cooperation.

“India attaches utmost importance to engagement with BRICS countries,” Singh said adding, “The Prime Minister has repeatedly underscored the role of BRICS in the international arena and stressed the importance of fostering intra-BRICS cooperation”.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said that “China and India are both major countries with great influence, and that they should boost cooperation in the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and all other multilateral frameworks to make a contribution to peace and stability in the region and the world at large.”

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