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BRICS Summit: Modi Lambast Pakistan, Veiled Attack on China

NEW DELHI, Nov 17: In the backdrop of the India – China military stand-off in Eastern Ladakh, the prime minister Narendra Modi launched yet another veiled attack on China on Tuesday, the second within a week, calling upon the world to hold accountable the countries that support terrorists.

Addressing the 12th BRICS summit hosted by Russia via video-conferencing, Modi, while Identifying terrorism as the “biggest problem” facing the world, said there was a need to tackle the menace in an organised manner. “Terrorism is the biggest problem the world is facing. We have to ensure that the countries that support and assist the terrorists are also held guilty,” he said.

Though Modi’s direct reference was towards Pakistan, considered the hotbed of terror activities, China’s close co-operation with Pakistan in economic, military and various other spheres nullifying the US sanctions against the Islamic country  for harbouring terrorism  was also indirectly helping Pakistan to encourage terror activities. On the Diwali day on Saturday, the prime minister while addressing the armed forces in Jaisalmer had called “expansionism” (hinting at China) a “mental disorder reflecting the 18th century thinking.”

The 12th BRICS summit, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The theme for this Brics Summit is “Global stability, shared security and innovative growth” and its agenda included intra-Brics cooperation, key global issues such as reforming the multilateral system, measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, trade, health and energy.

This was the second time that Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shared the virtual platform this month. Earlier, both leaders had shared the platform on November 10 at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, where Modi had said that all member nations of the SCO should respect each-others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.

With the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping set to adopt a new counter-terrorism strategy, Modi emphasized multilateralism was going through a crisis and questions were being raised about global institutions since they haven’t changed with the times and were based on the mindset of 75 years ago.

He described the finalisation of the Brics Counter-Terrorism Strategy as a great achievement and said India, as the chair of Brics next year, would take this work forward.

The Brics Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which will allow the member states to work out common measures and more closely coordinate at the UN and other forums and promote the implementation of the UN’s global counter-terrorism strategy, was set to be adopted at Tuesday’s summit.

Modi’s remarks on terrorism were endorsed by Putin, who said some countries were like the “black sheep of the family” and the world cannot afford any complacency in dealing with problems such as terrorism and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Noting that important geo-strategic changes were taking place around the world, Modi said these would impact security, stability and growth, and Brics would play an important role in tackling these issues.

Pointing out that India was a firm supporter of multilateralism, Modi said, “We have been firmly committed to the values of the United Nations. This is the 75th anniversary of the UN. India has been a core supporter of multilateralism & in Indian tradition, the entire world is considered a family. Our commitment towards UN’s values has been paramount,” he said.

But he regretted that “Multilateralism is going through a crisis and questions are being raised about institutions since they haven’t changed with time and are operating with outdated mindsets,” he said. Besides the UN Security Council, reforms are needed in the WTO, IMF and WHO, he added.

The Brics countries, with 42% of the global population, would play a key role in post-Covid-19 economic recovery and there was a lot of scope to increase mutual trade, Modi said. India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, which aims to make the country self-reliant and resilient, could be a force multiplier for the post-Covid-19 economy and make contributions to global supply chains, he added.

Pointing to the call by India and South Africa for waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines, he sought support from the other members of Brics for this initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed a virtual summit of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) grouping focussing on economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He said due to the strength of its pharma sector, India was able to provide medicines to over 150 countries during Covid-lockdown era, and added that India’s vaccine production and delivery ability would help mankind in the same way.

Lauding Russia’s leadership, Modi said several initiatives were taken to improve people-to-people connections such as Brics film festival, meetings of young scientists etc. “Despite the current global situation due to the spread of the Coronavirus infection, the activities under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 are carried out in a consistent manner,” he said.

Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, pointed out that since January 2020, more than 60 events were organized, many via video-conferencing.

(Manas Dasgupta / Venkatesh Iyer)