NEW DELHI: As the BRICS summit comes close on the heels of China blocking India-US joint move to list Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) leader Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist at the UNSC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will use the opportunity to deliver a strong message to Chinese President Xi Jinping on “counter-terrorism” commitment that all the five nations of the group—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—expressed in the joint statements issued after the forum’s earlier meetings and summits.
Top diplomatic sources told The Sunday Guardian that India will draw the attention of BRICS member states, particularly that of People’s Republic of China (PRC), towards whatever was said in the joint statement which was released after the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meet on 20 May, 2022. This meeting had been chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi had also delivered the opening speech then. The relevant part of the statement that carries an apt message for PRC is that, “The BRICS Foreign Ministers rejected double standards in counter terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.” “This will be highlighted by the Indian premier during the virtual interactions in what will serve as a clear reminder to Beijing on the counter-terror commitments as mentioned in the BRICS document itself,” sources said. “By blocking listing of Makki as a global terrorist at UNSC, China has broken this written commitment,” officials told The Sunday Guardian.
The joint statement by BRICS Foreign Ministers (May 2022), which set the agenda for the Summit meeting to be attended by the leaders of all the five nations including PM Modi and Xi Jinping on 23 June, categorically said, “13. The Ministers expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed. They recognized the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalization. They committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens. They reiterated that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group. They reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area. They also stressed the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment. They rejected double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.”
“If China, being a key member of BRICS continues to act in violation of the written commitment, it should be shown mirror at every single opportunity that is available. And, that is exactly what India will be doing at the summit meeting,” diplomats say. “Xi will be given enough message on double standards on counter terrorism, even though the virtual meeting has its limitations as there cannot be any bilateral,” add diplomats. “China’s present case related to Makki and its track record of putting on hold other proposals to designate several notorious criminals like Masood Azhar as global terrorists for long ran contrary to its rhetoric on counter terrorism,” officials remark. “China is in the habit of violating written agreements and pacts, like what is being witnessed along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh region presently,” they add.
“China has never been seen mounting pressure on Pakistan or Taliban to dismantle terror camps despite reports clearly saying that terrorists are having safe havens there. The terror attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday is also the result of countries like China having soft corner for elements like Taliban or terrorists like Makki,” officials point out. “The international pressure on such elements should be from all around,” sources asserted.
“India as a responsible and serious member of various significant multilateral groups like BRICS and Quad has been proactive and quick in responding to any global crisis or disturbance,” officials maintain. Soon after the attack on the gurudwara in Kabul, India expressed concern about the incident, saying it was closely monitoring the situation. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred gurudwara in that city.” “We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments,” he added. External Affairs minister S. Jaishankar, while condemning the attack, tweeted, “The cowardly attack on Gurdwara Karte Parwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all.” “We have been closely monitoring developments since the news of the attack was received. Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community,” he added.
“Where is China?” ask diplomats, adding that “Beijing never acts responsibly whenever there is any terror activity like this, rather it tries to protect terror elements at the United Nations.” China is virtually hosting the 14th Summit of the BRICS nations on June 23 through a video link. Sources said that nothing major is going to come on the table as the summit is going to take place amid tensions between India and China. New Delhi’s priority is to ensure that the LAC stand-off gets resolved as early as possible, but China continues to create one problem or the other, say sources.