By S M Hali
The ninth summit of BRICS held at Xiamen, SouthEastern China's Fujian Province was held from the 3 to 5 September 2017. It debated a wide range of issues in the realm of economic cooperation among the BRICS members; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The final Declaration of the summit comprised 71 points under the theme: "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future". The BRICS members resolved to build on their achievements already made with a shared vision for the future development of BRICS. It also discussed international and regional issues of common concern and adopted the Xiamen Declaration by consensus. Prominent among them were cooperation with Emerging Markets and Developing Countries (EMDCs); establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA); formulating the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, strengthening political and security cooperation; implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and initiatives related to its priority areas such as trade and investment, manufacturing and minerals processing, infrastructure connectivity, financial integration, science, technology and innovation, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) cooperation, among others.
Unfortunately, India has been crying hoarse at every forum to have Pakistan declared as a "terrorist state". Now it isgloating thinking it has finally managed to corner Pakistan. Indian media is going berserk claiming victory that it managed to force China in China to ditch its "strategic all-weather friend Pakistan" and go along with the other BRICS leaders in condemning Pakistan. The truth is couldn't be further from it, but unfortunately some of the negative propaganda is rubbing off on Pakistanis too who are accepting India's oft repeated lie as the truth.
Paragraph 47 of the Xiamen Declaration states: "We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals. There is a need for immediate cessation of violence…"
While Paragraph 48 reads: "We, in this regard, express 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, Haqqani network and Hizbut-Tahrir."
Of the terrorist groups mentioned in Paragraph 48, Taliban and TTP are headquartered in Afghanistan while Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, allegedly located in Pakistan, are already proscribed organizations, which have been banned by the United Nations.
Interestingly, the Amritsar Declaration at the 6th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia held on 4 December 2016, at which Pakistan was present, states: "We remain concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL/DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters."
If Pakistan had accepted and signed the Amritsar Declaration then China being a signatory to the Xiamen Declaration has committed no cardinal sin. In fact, the Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson has said that Pakistan welcomes the concern of the BRICS leaders on terrorism.
Sources privy to the process of formulating the Xiamen Declaration, disclosed t that India bent backwards to castigate Pakistan, have sanctions imposed on it and insert accusations like "backing the terrorists" and "providing safe havens to terrorists" in the Declaration. China not only thwarted every Indian machination but assured the BRICS members that it trusts and values Pakistan's contribution in eliminating terrorism, its sacrifices in the endeavour and will continue backing its all-weather friend.
India's gross violation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) should have been condemned. As it has reneged on the UN Resolutions on Kashmir and slaughtered over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris since 1989.
Pakistan should be placated by paragraph 39 of the Xiamen Declaration, which states: "We reaffirm our commitment to the United Nations as the universal multilateral organization entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development and promoting and protecting human rights."
Besides India, Myanmar merits condemnation for serious human rights violation of the Rohingya Muslims. Pakistan needs to understand that for India, "defeat is the new victory". It retreated from Doklam after a two months' standoff with China but to hide its humiliation, India is claiming victory. It was snubbed by China at Goa BRICS Summit, when it tried to tighten the screws on Pakistan. Even this time China managed to protect its strategic ally and all-weather friend. Throughout the Xiamen Declaration Pakistan has not been specifically mentioned so India's bogus cries of victory at Xiamen should be ignored as they carry no authenticity.
The author is a retired Group Captain and author of the book Defence & Diplomacy. Currently he is a columnist, analyst and TV talk show host.
Daily Times, September 9, 2017