BRICS focuses on regional security threats

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The leaders of the five emerging market BRICS powers have for the first time named militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan as a regional security concern and called for their patrons to be held to account.

India welcomed the move — which participated at a summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen — as an important step forward in the fight against militant attacks.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make up the BRICS grouping. The group called for an immediate end to violence in Afghanistan.

“We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS…Al Qaeda and its affiliates, including Eas­tern Turkistan Islamic Move­ment, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammad, TTP and Hizbut Tahrir,” the leaders said in the declaration.

In the 43-page declaration, Xi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma said they would work together to improve global economic governance to foster “a more just and equitable international order”.

The BRICS called for “comprehensive reform” of the United Nations and the UN Security Council “with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges”.

The five also pledged their opposition to protectionism, a theme increasingly taken up by host Chinese President Xi Jinping as anti-globalisation sentiment in the West poses a threat to China’s vast export markets.

Indian foreign ministry official Preeti Saran told reporters on the sidelines of the summit that wording in the communiqué was a “very important development” and that there was recognition that the world cannot have double standards when dealing with militant attacks.

“You cannot have good and bad terrorists, and it is a collective action. Members of the BRICS countries have themselves been victims of terrorism, and I would say that what has come of today acknowledges the fact that we must work collectively in handling this [terrorism],” she said.

India’s media said naming the allegedly Pakistan-based groups in the BRICS resolution was an important win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration which at last year’s summit called Pakistan the “mother ship of terrorism”.

China has generally been supportive of its ally Pakistan in the past and has repeatedly blocked India’s attempt to get the head of Jaish-i-Mohammad added to a UN blacklist of groups linked to Al Qaeda.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistan on the BRICS resolution.

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