Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged BRICS leaders Sunday to take a strong united stand against the “mothership of terrorism” in the South Asian region, in a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan.
Modi said a country in India’s neighbourhood had links to “terror modules” around the world, which the emerging nations club of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa should strongly condemn.
“In our region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development,” Modi told leaders at the BRICS summit in the tourist state of Goa.
“Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi said without naming Pakistan.
“Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership. This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains.”
“It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as BRICS need to stand and act together. BRICS must speak in one voice against this threat,” he said.
The Hindu nationalist leader has been moving to isolate India’s arch-rival and fellow nuclear power following a raid last month on an Indian army base that killed 19 soldiers.
New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attack, which triggered calls at home for an aggressive response.
India said its troops later hit militants across the border in Pakistan, sparking fury from Islamabad which denied that strikes had taken place.
In their joint statement later Sunday, the BRICS leaders condemned recent attacks against some of its members “including that in India” but made no mention of Pakistan.
“We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons,” the statement said.
China enjoys strong relations with Pakistan where it is pursuing a series of infrastructure projects, while Russia is pushing to forge closer defence ties with Islamabad.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made no commitments on terrorism during a bilateral meeting with Modi on Saturday before the BRICS summit, although an Indian official said they agreed to cooperate on preventing terrorism.
China this year blocked India’s request to add a Pakistani militant group chief to a UN sanctions blacklist, sparking frustration in Delhi.