BRICS Declares Pakistan Based Lashkar, Jaish As Global Terror Groups Historic Change In China’s Position

Let me begin by first and foremost pointing out that in a significant diplomatic win for India, BRICS countries on September 4 named for the first time Pakistan-based terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad among others for causing huge violence in the region and said those supporting terror acts must be held accountable. I am glad to see that China has finally buckled under international pressure. We had seen that till now China consistently blocked all moves in United Nations by India to designate Jaish as a terror group by using its veto power as it is a permanent member of UN Security Council!
BRICS Declares Pakistan Based Lashkar, Jaish As Global Terror Groups Historic Change In China’s Position

                                                      But finally truth has prevailed! Good wisdom has finally dawned upon China! The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping in China’s own soil has unequivocally named Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) – as terror organizations thus removing a major irritant in ties between New Delhi and Beijing and stepping up the fight against global extremism sponsored by rogue nations like Pakistan! A joint communiqué released at the BRICS summit on Monday expressed serious concern about the regional security situation and listed the Taliban, IS/Daesh, Al Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizb-ut-Tahrir as sources of violence.
                Resolve To Unitedly Combat Terrorism
                                                Truth be told, the BRICS asked all States to prevent terror activities from their soil and curb terror financing. It reaffirmed that those responsible for committing, organising or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and sought expeditious finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the UN. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was joined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michael Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma in strongly denouncing terror activities of such groups, as they expressed determination to collectively fight the scourge.
                                 Xiamen Declaration
                                                 While craving for the exclusive indulgence of my benevolent readers, let me also inform them that the 43-page “Xiamen Declaration”, adopted at the end of the five-nation BRICS plenary, stressed on the need for immediate cessation of violence in Afghanistan. It expressed “concern” over the security situation in the region and the violence caused by the various terror groups operating here. Significantly, ETIM is very active in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China and seeks to establish a separate “East Turkistan”.
                                            For my benevolent readers exclusive indulgence, let me also inform them that at the ninth Summit of the grouping, the BRICS leaders also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever. They stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism. This is a clear rebuff to Pakistan’s repeated irrational and crazy stand that terrorism will continue as long as Kashmir issue is not resolved! The statement said that, “We reaffirm that those responsible for committing, organising, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable,” the statement said.   
                      UN Designation
                                 As things turned out, when asked if the declaration would advance the efforts to impose a UN ban on Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, Priti Saran who is Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The declaration has been endorsed by all the BRICS leaders, so obviously it has the approval and endorsement of all the countries.” While emphasizing that the formulation adopted at the ninth BRICS summit would strengthen the fight for banning terrorists and terror groups at the UN, Ms Saran said: “The BRICS leaders called for greater efficiency in designation of terrorists and terror groups by the United Nations Committee on terrorism. I have not even an iota of doubt in my mind that this major development will go a long way in declaring  Pakistan-based terror groups like LeT and Jaish as global terror groups!        
                             Tectonic Shift
                                       Analysts say the BRICS declaration also underscores a tectonic shift in China’s new position on hyphenating its ties with India with its relationship with Pakistan. It may be recalled that in the past, Beijing has repeatedly asked for a “technical hold” in designating Masood Azhar – the head of the Pakistan-based JeM as an international terrorist in the United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee – a move that seemed to reflect its special ties with Islamabad but growing international anger against various terror outfits responsible for causing huge bloodshed has compelled China to make a break from the past and join the global countries who are all uniting to combat terrorism with an iron hand!
                           Endorsing India’s Stand
                                           Let me hasten to add here that the joint statement, without exception, also deplored strongly “all terrorist attacks worldwide”, including attacks in BRICS countries. It condemned roundly “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism.” No doubt, the uncomplicated formulation seemed to wholly endorse New Delhi’s firm stand that there can be no distinction between terror groups, which was highlighted when it said in the context of Taliban that , “There can be no good terrorists and bad terrorists”.
                                    Be it noted, in response to a question, Ms Priti Saran minced no words in making it absolutely clear that, “Terrorism is a scourge that has to be addressed collectively, by the entire international community. And I think increasingly there is a realization that you cannot have double standards in tackling this scourge. You cannot have good and bad terrorists.”
                       Meet On Radicalisation
                                To put things in perspective, while stepping up the combat against global terrorism further at the international level, India is now planning to hold a global conference on countering radicalisation, Ms Saran said. On countering radicalisation, India in the context of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the and the BRICS offered to organise a global conference on countering radicalisation. She also said that, “Countries with a positive experience on this will be able to share their experience (at this conference).”  
                                   Salient Features
                             Before proceeding ahead, it would be in order to discuss some of the salient features of BRICS Summit. It has assumed special significance for reasons more than one. Let us briefly touch upon some of them. They are as follows: -
1.  The move to name some Pakistan-based terror groups in the BRICS declaration would “irritate” Islamabad and may strain its ties with China. This was what a Chinese scholar said in a rare criticism of the Government’s decision. But for India this is a very bold stand by China.
2.  Modi and Putin discussed ways for boosting bilateral trade and investment along with the security situation in Afghanistan.
3.  The 5-nation BRICS economic bloc pitched for concluding the long-pending IMF quota reforms by 2019 to give more way to developing nations in the multilateral lending agency.
4.  BRICS countries vowed to combat unitedly tax evasion with info exchange.
5.  Modi called on BRICS nations to work closely with International Solar Alliance to strengthen the solar energy agenda.
6.  BRICS nations vow to utilize space for peaceful purposes.
7.  India and other BRICS members committed themselves to enhance cooperation on health issues at international for a, including at the G20.
8.  BRICS slams North Korea’s nuke test and bats for diplomatic solution.   
9.  The theme for this year BRICS Summit is “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”.

           BRICS Plus Five For Summit First Time
                              In an unprecedented move, Chinese President Xi Jinping has for the first time invited Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand to participate in the BRICS summit in Xiamen city from September 3 to 5 for expanding the sphere of influence of the emerging economies to form “BRICS Plus” bloc. It is astonishing to note that no place has been given to China’s closest ally Pakistan which only shows that China wants to distance itself slowly from Pakistan even though it does not want to say it publicly. Pakistan too understands it fully even though it will never acknowledge it. It is high time and Pakistan must end all support to terror groups if it really wants that it is not isolated in all international forums. Even USA had recently lashed out at Pakistan for its support to various terror groups and providing them a safe haven and had clarified that all future aid would be conditional to the steps taken to eliminate terrorists!
                               As things stand, the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi while justifying this said that, “BRICS is not an exclusive club. The impact of BRICS cooperation reaches far beyond the five countries. I believe the BRICS Plus model will fully realise the vitality of BRICS cooperation”. Wang when asked on the need to form a global economic system said that, “We need to have some further explanation about the ‘BRICS Plus’ to help people better understand the rationale of this idea. China stands ready to work with other BRICS countries to make cooperation bigger, stronger and also more solid to benefit not only the BRICS countries but also the whole world.”
           Documents To Be Signed
                        It is imperative to mention here that the four documents of the summit to be signed are BRICS Action Agenda on Economic and Trade Development, BRICS Action Agenda for Innovative Cooperation, Strategic Framework of BRICS Custom Cooperation and MoU between BRICS Business Council and Development Bank.
               Brief History Of BRICS Summits
                            Any discussion on BRICS Summits would be incomplete without discussing the outcome of the various summits conducted till now. We must also know when it took place and where. To illustrate all this, let me start right from the very beginning. They are as follows: -
Date: June 16, 2009
Venue: Yekaterinburg, Russia
Result: Brazil, Russia, India and China issued a joint statement and founded their statement and founded their co-operative mechanism known as BRIC.

Date: April 15, 2010
Venue: Brasilia, Brazil
Result: In a joint declaration, Brazil, Russia, India and China announced detailed measures of co-operation and co-ordination that signified the preliminary establishment of the BRIC co-operative mechanism.

Date: April 14, 2011
Venue: Sanya, China
Result: The inaugural participation of South Africa as an official member and the establishment of the Sanya Declaration issued after the summit, that outlined the countries decision to deepen exchanges and co-operate in finance, industry and commerce, the sciences, technology and energy. Thus BRIC got expanded to BRICS.

Date: March 29, 2012
Venue: New Delhi, India
Result: Leaders of BRICS jointly issued the New Delhi Declaration which announced several agreements, such as the Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency under the BRICS Interbank Co-operation Mechanism.

Date: March 26-27, 2013
Venue: Durban, South Africa
Result: Members agreed to establish the New Development Bank and to hold a meeting with leaders from Africa after the summit.

Date: July 15-16, 2014
Venue: Fortaleza, Brazil
Result: The group signed a document to create a $ 100 billion New Development Bank and a reserve currency pool of an additional $100 billion. Documents on co-operation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of co-operation in innovation were also signed.
Date: July 8-9, 2015
Venue: Ufa, Russia
Result: The summit marked the entry into force of the BRICS New Development Bank. The Ufa Declaration also stated the leaders concerns on international security issues such as corruption, nuclear weapons, instability and conflict, terrorism and their commitments to social issues such as health and education.

Date: October 15-16, 2016
Venue: Goa, India
Result: The leaders discussed issues including the international, political and economic situation, global governance, counter-terrorism, climate change, sustainable development goals. BRICS co-operation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The summit issued the Goa Declaration and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The summit issued the Goa Declaration and its action plan and reiterated the commitment to strengthening the BRICS partnership. Outreach Summit of BRICS Leaders with the leaders of BIMSTEC member countries was held during the Summit. China scuttled India’s move to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad as a terror organization.

Date: September 3-5, 2017
Venue: Xiamen, China
Result: Leaders from Egypt, Kenya, Tajikistan, Mexico and Thailand were invited for the first time to participate in the summit. For first time in the history of BRICS we saw how China signs statement that names Lashkar and Jaish among others in terror list which is the biggest departure from China’s earlier rigid stand not to name them as terror groups! BRICS countries also resolved that those responsible for committing and supporting terror acts must be held accountable.
    India And China Agree To Enhance Mutual Trust
                                   Truly speaking, eight days after Indian and Chinese troops withdrew from Doklam after the 73-day stand-off, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to move forward and put behind the mistrust developed during the two-and-half-month border standoff. In a meeting that lasted more than an hour on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, the two leaders had a “forward looking” and “not backward looking” agenda. They agreed to enhance “communication” and “coordination” between defence and security personnel deployed at the borders so that incidents “do not recur”.       
                                   In hindsight, while Modi described the meeting as “fruitful”, Xi told Modi that “India can view China’s development in a correct and rational way” and underlined the five principles of peaceful co-existence under the Panchsheel rubric. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said the two sides took a “forward-looking-approach”. He said: “Discussions were very constructive on where the relationship should be going and will be going. I think one of the important points which were made in the meeting was that peace and tranquility in the border areas was a pre-requisite for further development of the bilateral relationship and there should be more effort made to really enhance and strengthen the level of mutual trust between the two sides.” Absolutely right!
                                    In retrospect, while recalling the consensus reached at the Kazakh capital, Jaishankar said: “There was a reminder that (as) at Astana in early June, we had both agreed that we would not let differences become disputes, and when the world was changing, we would ensure that India-China relations were a factor of stability. In many ways, that was reaffirmed.” The peaceful resolution recently between India and China of the Doklam dispute is the best illustration to prove this. Jaishankar rightly said that, “It is natural that between neighbours and large powers there would be areas of difference, and they should be handled with mutual respect and effort should be made to find common ground in addressing those areas.”                              
                                        Let me bring out here that Jaishankar also clarified that the two leaders agreed that efforts should be made to ensure that “defence and security (personnel) must maintain strong contacts and cooperation” at the borders to “ensure that (the) sort of situation which happened recently should not recur”. He said that the two leaders had “laid out a very positive view of where the relationship could go”. He also said that they held “a detailed discussion about the mechanisms which could help both countries really go forward in that direction”.
                                              As a matter of fact, Jaishankar said that organisations such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS could supplement interaction between the two countries at the “intergovernmental” level to build a robust relationship in the future. He went on to say that, “There was a strong affirmation at the leadership level that the relationship should be on a forward and an upward trajectory.” When asked about whether the Doklam issue had been raised by Xi during the meeting, Jaishankar said that, “Both of us know what happened. This (the conversation) was not a backward looking conversation. The sense was that how do we take the relationship forward. The discussion was about ways to take the relationship forward, ensure peace in border areas and build mutual trust.”
                                       Panchsheel Principles
                                       Pitching for healthy and stable ties, Xi told Modi that China was prepared to work with India on the five principles of Panchsheel that govern relations between the two countries. The Panchsheel principles relate to a 1954 treaty on mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence. India has always stood for peace, friendly relations with neighbours and tranquility with all its neighbouring countries.
                                        Geng Shuang who is spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that, “Xi pointed out that China and India should respect each other, seek common ground and shelve differences to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas.” He quoted Xi telling Modi, “We need to show to the world that peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation is the only right choice between the two countries. The two countries should shelve differences and seek common ground  and together ensure peace and tranquility at the borders.” Xi said: “On the economic and social development, the two countries have great potential for cooperation which should see greater synergy in strategy alignment, expand cooperation in infrastructure connectivity as well as international affairs.”
                                  Deepen Security Cooperation
                                              To be sure, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that BRICS leaders had agreed on deepening political and security cooperation while enhancing strategic trust. This came a day after the BRICS, for the first time, named two Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, in its declaration from Xiamen. Although the Heart of Asia declaration in Amritsar had also named these groups in 2016, this was an endorsement at the leadership level, especially from the Chinese perspective. Foreign Secretary of India – S Jaishankar said that the BRICS declaration is a “collective commitment” by all countries, since it concerns all. Xi said at the end of the summit that, “We, as the five countries’ leaders, believe it is in line with our common interests and international expectations to deepen political and security cooperation and enhance mutual strategic trust.”
                        Modi’s 10 Noble Commitments For BRICS
                                           For starters, at the BRICS Emerging Markets and Developing Countries Dialogue organized by China on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit as an outreach exercise, PM Narendra Modi pitched for a coordinated action on counter-terrorism, cyber security and disaster management, as he suggested 10 “noble commitments” through which BRICS could achieve leadership in global transformation. Modi said India had a long tradition of partnership with fellow developing countries, while pursuing its own aspirations for growth.
                                            To say the least, the 10 noble commitments suggested by the Prime Minister included creating a safer world by “organized and coordinated action on at least three issues: counter-terrorism, cybersecurity and disaster management.” The other noble commitments suggested by Modi were: Creating a greener world, creating an enabled world, creating an inclusive world, creating a digital world, creating a skilled world, creating a healthier world, creating an equitable world, creating a connected world and creating a harmonious world. He said recently India completed its first voluntary review of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also said that, “Our ‘no strings attached’ model of cooperation is driven purely by the requirements and priorities of our partner countries. Our development partnerships, projects are providing water, electricity, roads, healthcare, tele-medicine and basic infra in dozens of countries.”
                                      Brick by brick
                                               It is a no-brainer that Modi emphasized on the policy of “brick by brick” to further improve and consolidate relations between BRICS countries. He said that, “Whatever we do, will impact the world substantially. So, it is our solemn duty to make a better world – brick by brick, or, through BRICS…” He also said that, “I had spoken about BRICS driving the global transformation in the next 10 years for it to be a golden decade. I suggest that this can be brought about with our proactive approach, policies and action. BRICS, which represents almost half of humanity, can achieve global transformation with a proactive approach, policies and action based on ten “noble commitments.”  
                                                 All said and done, the 9thBRICS Summit at Xiamen in SouthEast China’s Fujian province has been a very landmark summit for many reasons and I have dwelt above on all those reasons. But the most important one is that for the first time in its declaration Jaish and Lashkar have been named as global terror groups with China buckling under India’s unremitting pressure exerted in cooperation with other countries. Even in the UN Security Council meet, China was alone defending Jaish and its founder Masood Azhar but all other 14 countries were for designating Jaish as a ‘global terror group’ and Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’. Also, trade between BRICS countries have risen from 281 billion dollars to 350 billion dollars in 2017. It is noteworthy that the international trade of BRICS has touched 6.5 trillion dollars. After the BRICS was constituted, there has been a growth of 500 percent in global export. But still there is a lot of scope for further growth and this is appreciated by all the BRICS countries! The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa account for 43 percent of world population, $17 trillion or 22 percent of the nominal global gross domestic product (GDP) and 17 percent of world trade. The establishment of New Development Bank with active participation from all the members is certainly most welcome. No other world group whether it is UN or G7 or G20 or any other group can ever afford to ignore BRICS which is strengthening brick by brick with every passing year. It is most heartening to see that on the all important issue of combating terrorism, all the countries of this group are firm in combating it unitedly and even China who is Pakistan’s close ally has come out openly against terror groups like Jaish and Lashkar operating openly from Pakistan which is a very big set back to Pakistan as till now China had stonewalled all attempts by India to label these 2 terror groups as terror groups but not anymore!  
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.