India’s Modi Calls Pakistan Terror ‘Mothership’ at Brics Summit
BENAULIM, India—Prime Minister Narendra Modi called India’s neighbor Pakistan the “mothership of terrorism” at a Brics summit Sunday, underscoring New Delhi’s differences with Islamabad’s close ally China, which is a prominent member of the group.
In at least four events over the weekend involving Chinese President Xi Jinping, Mr. Modi stressed tough global action against Pakistan-based terror groups that carry out deadly attacks in India and, New Delhi says, receive support from Pakistan’s military and intelligence service, something Islamabad denies.
China has long shared close ties with Pakistan. Their collaboration has intensified in recent years as Beijing strives to build a multibillion-dollar economic corridor through the South Asian We’ll review this ad to improve your experience in the future.
“Criminality should be the only basis for punitive action against the individuals and organizations responsible for carrying out terrorist acts,” Mr. Modi said Sunday at a Brics meeting where Mr. Xi was also present. “Selective approaches to terrorist individuals and organizations will not only be futile but also counterproductive.”
China says the U.N. council considering India’s application, which was first made in March, needs more time “for consultation between the relevant parties,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news conference Friday.
Terrorism featured prominently in this year’s summit, which also included the leaders of Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Its declaration stressed that “there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism.” Mr. Modi sought to isolate Pakistan diplomatically through a series of one-on-one meetings with world leaders and summit speeches that made veiled references to Islamabad.
Tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have soared since an attack last month on an Indian army base that killed 19 soldiers. India said it carried out ” surgical strikes” against militants on the Pakistan side of the two countries’ de facto border. Pakistan denies Indian forces crossed into territory it controls.
China’s support for Pakistan has deepened distrust between New Delhi and Beijing at a time when once-predictable geopolitical alignments are in flux. India has moved closer to the U.S. while Washington’s longstanding military and diplomatic alliance with Islamabad has frayed.
The U.S. is trying to facilitate India’s efforts to catch up with militarily superior China and to bolster New Delhi’s global standing. President Barack Obama backs India’s application to be a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group that controls trade in nuclear technology. China doesn’t support India’s bid, saying New Delhi needs to first sign a global nonproliferation treaty.
China has also pledged to build infrastructure projects worth $46 billion in Pakistan as part of Beijing’s ambitions to open new trade and transport routes across Asia and challenge the U.S. as the dominant regional power. Part of the corridor will cut through territory that is under dispute between India and Pakistan, raising hackles in New Delhi.
Pakistan has cited China’s support as proof it isn’t being isolated. It has also pointed to longtime Indian partner Russia’s military exercises in Pakistan earlier this month—the first ever between the countries—and Moscow’s planned arms sales to Pakistan.
“Even if India tries to isolate us, they can’t. Pakistan is too important a country,” said Aziz Khan, a former Pakistani ambassador to New Delhi. “Pakistan’s location and position here in the region is such that it cannot be isolated.”
In a meeting with Mr. Xi Saturday, Mr. Modi said India and China “cannot afford to have any differences on terrorism,” India’sForeign Ministry said.
“The Chinese are well aware of our concerns that known terrorists be designated,” Vikas Swarup, the spokesman for India’sForeign Ministry, said. “Our expectation and hope is China will see the logic of what we are saying.”
India also sought to use the Brics meeting to try to renew its decades-old bond with Russia after a recent drift in ties and to allay concerns about its growing defense relations with the U.S. On Saturday, after a meeting between Mr. Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two sides announced multibillion-dollar defense and energy deals.
In addition to Brics countries, Mr. Modi met with the heads of countries on the Bay of Bengal, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, who are part of a regional group that doesn’t include Pakistan.
The meeting assumed greater significance after India recently pulled out of a South Asian summit to be held in Islamabad later this year, which prompted other nations to follow and led Pakistan to postpone it indefinitely.
“The time for condemning state-sponsored terrorism is long gone. It is time to stand up and act,” Mr. Modi said to world leaders Sunday. “Those who nurture the philosophy of terror, we must send a clear message to mend their ways or be isolated in the civilized world.”
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