China blocked India’s attempts to name JeM and LeT in the Goa Declaration, wherein the BRICS member states pledged to “relentlessly pursue” outfits designated terrorist groups by the UNSC, but what has hurt the government more, sources said, is Russia’s disinclination to argue India’s case. The result, of course, was a declaration which failed to address India’s core concern, or the issue of state-sponsored terrorism.
What compounded the matter for India was Russia’s recent military flirtation with Pakistan in the form of an anti-terror exercise. In current global power play, Russia is increasingly seen as needing China more than the other way round, but Moscow’s submission to Beijing’s position on an issue related to India’s security has still come as a revelation to New Delhi.
While Russia did not help India name check JeM, which perpetrated both the Pathankot and Uri attacks, in the declaration, it ensured that Syria-based Jabhat to al-Nusra was. As it seeks to bolster the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, Russia has continued to target al-Nusra, which it accuses of pursuing, through barbaric methods, a caliphate in Syria. Al-Nusra is among the groups fighting to topple al-Assad. Like Nusra, JeM and LeT too have been proscribed by the UN.
Strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney said Moscow appeared willing to accommodate India’s concerns in the declaration, but, in the face of Chinese opposition, shied away.”The result was that the declaration failed to mention the most potent form of terrorism in the world, which is state-sponsored,” he added.
With Russia doing precious little for India, China has managed to shield Pakistani terrorism not only at the UN Security Council but also at a multilateral summit on Indian soil. In doing so, Chellaney said, China rode roughshod over Indian concerns and showed itself culpable in the killing of 26 Indian soldiers at Uri and Pathankot.
While Russia itself has been the clear winner in terms of BRICS’ focus on security-related issues, China continues to call the shots on financial issues, leading to questions about the utility of BRICS for India. “China uses BRICS to advance its economic and political interests, including dominating the two financial mechanisms that the grouping has set up. But what do es India get from Brics?” Chellaney said.
“Goa showed that while China manages to get its own way , even at India’s expense, Indian get its own way , even at India’s expense, Indian officials do little other than put on a brave face.Even earlier, when China secured the right to host the BRICS bank, Indian officials were left flaunting a consolation prize -that an Indian would be the bank’s first president,” he added.
The Goa Declaration came just a day after President Vladimir Putin assured PM Narendra Modi that Russia would do nothing to hurt India’s interests. But, as MEA secretary Amar Sinha admitted, there was no consensus on naming Pakistan-based terror groups because other nations are not affected by their actions.