Spokeswoman lauds Pakistan efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism
Beijing—China sprang to long-time ally Pakistan’s defence on Monday after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi branded Pakistan a “mothership of terrorism” at a summit of BRICS nations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about Modi’s comments, said China opposed all forms of terrorism and that the international community should increase counter-terrorism cooperation. “We also oppose the linking of terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion. This is China’s consistent position,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing. “Everyone knows that India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Pakistan has made huge efforts and great sacrifices in fighting terrorism. I think the international community should respect this,” Hua added. China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties.
Modi’s remarks to a meeting of leaders from BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which India accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism. Tensions between the two countries have been running high since the Sept 18 Uri army base attack in held Kashmir that killed 19 Indian soldiers in the worst such assault in 14 years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his officials earlier on Sunday, pushed for the BRICS summit Goa Declaration to specifically mention “cross border terrorism” that India was faced with and also the names of Pakistani based terror outfits. However, it failed to convince the other member states.
While the Goa Declaration called upon countries to ensure that their territory is not used for terrorist activities, in many ways it did not deliver the knockout blow to Pakistan.
The Goa declaration didn’t refer either to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which is headed by Masood Azhar, the man India claims was behind the Pathankot terrorist attack, or the Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) allegedly involved in 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
It did, however, name such groups as the Islamic State, Jabat-al-Nasra, the Syrian Islamist rebel group, and other UN designated groups. Amar Sinha, India’s chief negotiator in the BRICS, said that India couldn’t get a consensus on naming Pakistan-based terrorist outfits since it doesn’t concern all the BRICS countries.
Other BRICS leaders, particularly Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, focused their speeches on strengthening the BRICS economic integration. All other leaders sidestepped the Indian PM’s push for criticism of Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism.