Modi calls Pakistan “Mothership of terrorism,” wants Brics to fight it out

Benaulim (Goa): Prime Minister Narendra Modi upped the ante in India’s fight against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism and increased the heat on that country by calling it “a mothership of terrorism” on Sunday. His euphemistic reference to Pakistan at a meeting of Brics leaders was yet another attempt by Modi to diplomatically isolate Islamabad.

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) met on Sunday, the second day of the grouping’s 8th annual summit, in the holiday resort town in Goa. Of the five countries that make up the rising economic powers in the world, China is an ‘all-weather’ friend of Pakistan and Russia, the time-tested ally of India, is trying to forge a new relationship with Pakistan.

By calling Pakistan “a mothership of terrorism,” Modi had taken a calculated risk to offend the sensibilities of two big powers. Nevertheless, his aim was to goad Russian and Chinese leaders into action against Pakistan.

Invoking Hindu religious beliefs, Modi is reported to have told the Brics leaders: “In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development. Tragically, the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood”. Seeking comprehensive action against terrorism, the Prime Minister also called for individual and collective action. In other words, what he was imploring the other four leaders, particularly Chinese and Russian, was to initiate measures to isolate Pakistan.

Stressing his point, Modi is reportedly told the summit leaders: “Criminality should be the only basis for punitive action against the individuals and organizations responsible for carrying out terrorist acts. Terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support must be systematically cut off.”

Calling for early adoption of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), the Prime Minister said, “security and counter-terrorism cooperation is necessary if we are to secure the lives of our citizens. Terrorism casts a long shadow on our development and economic prosperity.”

In an oblique reference to China and Pakistan shielding militant leaders accused of masterminding attacks on civilian and military targets in India, Modi said, “selective approaches to terrorist individuals and organizations will not only be futile but also counter-productive.”

A day earlier, on Saturday, Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed defence and energy deals worth billions of dollars in a significant development that saw the revival of Indo-Russian close ties.

In contrast, though Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Modi had bilateral talks, their body language had indicated their standoffish positions on controversial issues.

However, Xi brought cheer when he donned a red sleeveless Nehru Jacket along with other leaders for Saturday evening dinner.

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