A YEAR after India claimed credit for the naming of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad in the BRICS declaration at Xiamen in China, the grouping’s declaration in Johannesburg Thursday did not contain any reference to these terrorist groups.
The latest declaration was issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met all BRICS leaders, and was in the process of meeting at least three of them separately.
Sources, however, told The Indian Express that once a formulation has found a mention in a declaration, “it is already a part of record”. They also pointed to the “very strong” paragraphs on terrorism in the Johannesburg declaration.
Referring to terrorism, the Johannesburg declaration stated: “We deplore the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. We urge concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices on a firm international legal basis and express our conviction that a comprehensive approach is necessary to ensure an effective fight against terrorism. We recall the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.”
It said: “We firmly believe that those responsible for committing, organising, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable. We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering radicalisation, recruitment, travel of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources and channels of terrorist financing including, for instance, through organised crime by means of money-laundering, supply of weapons, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the Internet by terrorist entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).”
In Xiamen, the BRICS declaration had said the leaders expressed concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by “the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.”
This was projected by India as a major accomplishment, with the Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Preeti Saran pointing out that “for the first time you would notice that there has been such a specific listing of terrorists organizations…”
The government had then said that China had signed off on naming the terrorist groups, and had cornered Pakistan. Similar language was used in the Heart of Asia conference statement as well, in December 2016 in Amritsar, where terrorist groups were named.