HANGZHOU: Against the backdrop of the escalating threat from cross-border terrorism from Pakistan and the rise of the Islamic State, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for enhanced intra-BRICS and international cooperation in breaking the “global supply chain of terror and isolate those states that sponsor terrorism.”
Intensifying counter-terror cooperation topped the agenda during various engagements of PM Modi in Hangzhou, the venue of the G20 summit, on September 4. The focus on terror was evident in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during which he stressed that the approach to terror “must not be politically motivated.” He condemned the recent terror attack on the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek and sought to expand counter-terror cooperation with China.
The scourge of terrorism also figured prominently in PM Modi’s talks with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull. In his talks with Mr Turnbull, Mr Modi focused on “identifying and targeting suppliers, exporters and financiers of terrorism.” “We need a unified approach to counter terrorism,” Mr Modi told the Australian leader, according to Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, told Indian journalists in Hangzhou.
Terror tops BRICS agenda
In the BRICS outreach meeting on the margins of the G20 summit, Mr Modi made a “hard-hitting intervention” on greater collaboration in combating terrorism. Underlining that terrorism is the biggest threat facing the world, he spoke about forging a collective strategy to smash the supply chain of terror and the increasing use of social media for radicalization. He spoke about the need to isolate sponsors of terror and those who sponsor terror.
“Terrorists in South Asia or anywhere for that matter do not own banks or weapons factors,” PM Modi said in a veiled allusion to Pakistan’s role in fomenting terror in India.
Given the salience of terror in the BRICS meeting in Hangzhou, enhancing counter-terror cooperation among the major emerging economies will loom high on the agenda of the 8th BRICS summit in the scenic seaside resort of Goa on October 4-5.
Seeking proactive global cooperation to combat terror has become an important plank of India’s diplomatic outreach under the Modi government. India not only continues to face the ever present threat from Pakistan-based militants and terror outfits, but even the Islamic State has put the world’s fastest growing economy on its radar screen. India has been proactively seeking global support for the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which remains bogged down in conflicting interpretations of terrorism by some Arab countries.
BRICS: An influential voice
Weeks before India hosts the BRICS summit, Mr Modi shared the evolving agenda with the leaders of emerging economies, including Brazilian President Michel Temer, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma, and underlined the grouping’s role in shaping the international agenda on a host of cross-cutting themes. “We, as Brics, are an influential voice in international discourse. It is, therefore, our shared responsibility to shape the international agenda,” he said. “Our shared responsibility to shape international agenda in manner that helps developing nations achieve their objectives,” he added.
India has set a five-pronged agenda for the BRICS summit, which is crystallized in IIIIC or I4C: Institution Building, Implementation, Integration, Innovation, and Continuity with Consolidation. Making BRICS people-centric is the overarching focus of the Goa summit. “We’ve taken Brics out of capitals to involve people from all walks of life. It will be an opportunity to deepen our ties and with BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries,” said Mr Modi.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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