Brics agree to counter terror, only China's support to Pakistan makes its pledge dubious

The national security advisors of the five Brics nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) met on Thursday in a run-up to the Brics summit next month.

The advisers agreed to cooperate to deny terrorists access to finance and weapons while vowing to launch joint efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism emanating from the West Asia and North African region (WANA).

The sixth meeting was held in Delhi and chaired by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Later they also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apprise him of their decisions.

Modi tweeted that he had a very good meeting with the NSAs of the Brics nations.

Reiterating what External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said during her joint statement with Secretary of State John Kerry in India, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that there should not be a segmented approach on the issue of terror.

They also agreed to expand Brics counter-terrorism cooperation further to include measures for denying terrorists access to finance and terror-hardware such as equipment, arms and ammunition.

Responding to a question about blacklisting terror suspects like Masood Azhar, Swarup said the issue is well known. The Indian Express quoted him as saying, “I don’t think this is something which needs to be flagged at every meeting.”

“It (blacklisting of terrorists through the UN route) should not be governed by political considerations. A terrorist is a terrorist and should be so identified,” he further said.

China had again blocked India’s bid to ban Azhar at the UN in April, 2016. After the Pathankot attack, India had written to the UN asking for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

National security advisors during the meeting. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia

National security advisors during the meeting. Image courtesy: @MEAIndia

PTI quoted some government sources as saying that China was in consultation with Pakistan, which is not on the UN Committee and had therefore, asked to hold up the banning of Azhar.

China, the country which pledged cooperation to deter terrorists by denying finance and weapons in WANA during the Brics meeting is actually fueling terrorism in South Asia in both covert and overt ways.

India had substantial evidence against Azhar and his outfit’s terror activities. It even told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar would expose it and other countries in South Asia to threats from the terror group and its leader.

Conveniently acting as a prompter, Pakistan directed China to block India’s request. China also refuses to recognise the terror emanating from its all weather friend.

As David Devadas points out in this Firstpost piece, “Towards the end of that year, China made it clear that it does not consider the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir to belong legitimately to India.”

It has also “periodically sent troops into parts of Ladakh.” It is also silently helping the separatists in Kashmir, thereby propelling terrorism on the Indian soil. The India Today reported that Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani thanked Pakistan and China for their support to the "struggle of Kashmiris."

The United States also told Pakistan that it cannot "pick and choose" the terrorist groups it goes after and has to target militants who seek to harm its neighbours, taking refuge on its territory.”

In an evidently hypocritical move, China is agreeing to counter terrorism in WANA but turning a blind eye to the terrorism faced by its neighbour India.

While is quite determined uproot terror modules causing unrest and violence in its volatile province of Xinjiang, even tightening legal framework to crush it, its double standards in failing to stand by India on similar grounds is appalling. As a matter of fact, Xinjiang even became the first provincial-level region in China to have released a regional interpretation of the Anti-Terrorism Law since it was implemented on 1 January.

China even initiated joint patrolling with Pakistani troops in the border connecting Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir with Xinjiang province amid reports that over 100 Uighurs have fled the restive region to join Islamic State.

China's pledge of cooperation during the Brics summit looks good on paper but unless it is implemented on ground in full spirit it would continue to remain as a hollow assurance.

With inputs from PTI.

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2016 19:44 PM

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