At the ongoing BRICS summit being held in Goa, India, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has courted controversy after he branded Pakistan a “mother-ship of terrorism.” According to Reuters, addressing other BRICS leaders at a resort in Goa, Modi said the following.
“In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development. Tragically, the mother-ship of terrorism is a country in India’s neighborhood.”
Modi also tweeted out the same message using his official Twitter handle – without directly naming Pakistan.
Following the allegation, Pakistan has dismissed all the allegations by Modi and in turn, accused Modi of misleading his summit partners. Pakistan also claimed that India was just seeking another way to conceal what it alleged was India’s own brutality in the part of Kashmir that it rules. A statement issued by Sartaj Aziz, foreign policy adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, read the following.
“The people of Indian Occupied Kashmir are being subjected to genocide by India for demanding their fundamental right to self determination.”
The BRICS countries include five emerging powers of the world including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. These countries account for a significant population of the globe and as of 2015, represent over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world population. All the BRICS countries have a combined nominal GDP of $16.6 trillion and a combined GDP (PPP) of around $ 37 trillion – thus yielding significant power in world geopolitics.
Prime Minister Modi’s remarks come just a few weeks after tensions between India and Pakistan rose following terror attacks targeted against military bases in India resulted in India carrying out a major anti-terrorist operation against Pakistan-backed militants. While India claims that they conducted a targeted “surgical strike” against terror camps located deep within the Pakistani side of Kashmir, Pakistan has negated the claims and asserts that no such strike happened. Nevertheless, the incident did flare up tensions across the border with people from both the sides even talking about a possible nuclear conflict. A major trigger point for the latest clashes between India and Pakistan was a terror attack at an Indian Army base located in Uri. This attack on September 18 claimed the lives of more than 18 soldiers – prompting India to take counter measures.
Incidentally, Modi’s remarks against Pakistan was made in the presence of China – a country that is known to favor Pakistan against India and is a close ally of that country. Analysts are of the opinion that the latest remarks by Modi is part of an ongoing campaign to diplomatically isolate Pakistan. India claims that Pakistan backed rebel groups are behind terror attacks being carried out within India – a narrative that Pakistan has always dismissed. However, Pakistan has often been found standing on sticky wicket – especially after Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden was found living in relative comfort a few miles away from a Pakistani military base in the city of Abbottabad. Following the Bin Laden episode, Pakistan’s one-time ally, the United States too moved away from them and is now seen increasingly favoring India. The Obama administration has also made major advances in improving U.S. ties with India and became the only U.S. President in office to visit India twice.
Meanwhile, China a close ally of Pakistan has remained silent even in the face of increasing tensions between India and Pakistan. China seems to be closely watching Modi’s hard line stance on Kashmir and against Pakistan – which is a huge departure from India’s usual tradition of maintaining “strategic restraint”. China has even in the face of this major flare up asked both India and Pakistan to solve their bilateral issues by initiating peace talks. This, according to analysts also marks a major change in China’s stance against India.
[Featured Image by Manish Swarup/AP Images]