Speaking on terrorism, PM Modi said that countries that support and help terrorism must be held accountable

“Terrorism is the biggest menace the world is facing today,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his opening remarks at the 12th BRICS Summit held virtually this time while acknowledging the finalisation of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy under the presidency of Russia.

This year, the BRICS Summit happened on the theme of ‘BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth.’ Calling it ‘not only relevant but far-sighted,’ he said that BRICS will play an important role in all three areas.

“Significant geo-strategic changes are taking place all over the world, which will continue to impact the stability, security and growth, and BRICS will play an important role in all these three areas,” PM Modi said at the virtual Summit.

Speaking on terrorism, he said that countries that support and help terrorism must be held accountable. “We must ensure that the countries that support and help terrorists are also held to account, and this problem must be dealt in a united manner,” he said.

Extending India’s support to the newly finalised counter-terrorism strategy by the grouping he said, “We are happy that the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy has been finalized under the presidency of Russia. This is a notable achievement. And India will pursue this task further during its presidency.”

The grouping comprises five nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The nations have reached a consensus about the strategy with an objective to complement and strengthen the existing bilateral and multilateral ties among countries to make a meaningful contribution to the global efforts of preventing and combating the threat of terrorism.

According to the strategy, the countries will work together to suppress the facilitation of terrorist groups, entities and associated persons by not making available to them any resources, such as human, financial, or material, including weaponry.

“Undertake steps to improve relevant necessary measures to strengthen border and customs controls in order to prevent and detect the cross-border movement of terrorists, including by comprehensively using, whenever appropriate, international databases on terrorism and the consolidated list of sanctioned individuals and groups by the UN Security Council,” the document mentions.

The countries have also decided to enhance cooperation in the sphere of mutual legal assistance and extradition, in conformity with their domestic laws and regulations, to afford the widest measure of assistance in connection with investigation or criminal proceedings against terrorists.

In order to counter the extremist narratives, the countries have decided to watch the misuse of the internet and social media for the purposes of terrorist recruitment, radicalization and incitement and providing financial and material support for terrorists.

In this sequence, the countries have also decided to counter public calls for and incitement of terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.

“Strengthen cooperation against the misuse of information and telecommunication technology for terrorist and other criminal purposes; create counter-narratives disrupting the propaganda of terrorist and extremist ideas conducive to terrorism,” the document mentions further.

The BRICS nations have also decided to broaden the spectrum of counter-terrorism by extending it to the United Nations as well as the G-20 and the FATF.

In order to further strengthen the partnerships, the nations have decided to “Promote capacity building, including training, experience sharing, and technical cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts.”

The nations will also promote public awareness and participation in counter-terrorism efforts, as well as enhancement of inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue, the document mentions further.

One of the most important measures that the countries have reached consensus upon is to call upon all nations to take appropriate measures to prevent the use of their territories for terrorist bases or the perpetration or organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other States or their citizens.

It said that there is a “need for all States to refrain from organizing, instigating, facilitating, participating in, financing, encouraging or tolerating terrorist activities and to take appropriate practical measures to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist bases or preparation or organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other States or their citizens.”

Nevertheless, the remarks come days after India rejected Pakistan’s dossier accusing India of spreading terrorism in Pakistan calling it a ‘figment of imagination.’

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Army Spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar on November 14, released a dossier accusing India of promoting terrorism in their country. Citing an intelligence report during a press conference, they claimed India’s involvement in acts of terrorism in Pakistan.

However, they invited a stark reply from the Indian side as the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava responded by saying, “This is yet another futile anti-India propaganda exercise.”

“The so-called claims of ‘proof’ against India enjoy no credibility, are fabricated and represent figments of imagination. This desperate attempt will find few takers as the international community is aware of Pakistan’s tactics and proof of its terror sponsorship has been admitted by none other than its own leadership,” he said.

The MEA spokesperson in return quoted names of several terrorists who Pakistan treats as ‘martyrs.’