Diplomatic setback

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FOR the first time in many years, Pakistan received a major diplomatic setback when, despite presence of friends and sympathisers like China, leaders of the five emerging market BRICS powers named militant groups allegedly based in Pakistan as a regional security concern and called for their patrons to be held to account. Understandably, Pakistan’s arch-rival — India — welcomed the move describing it as an important step forward in the fight against militant attacks.
No doubt, it is not allegedly Pakistan-based outfits that have been named in the communiqué issued by BRICS’ summit but also groups like IS, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan but inclusion of Haqqani network, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammad, TTP and Hizbul Tahrir has given a lash in India’s hand to beat Pakistan. China has all along been supporting Pakistan on such issues and it repeatedly foiled Indian attempts to get the head of Jaish-i-Mohammad added to a UN blacklist of groups linked to Al-Qaeda but it appears the trusted friend too could not sustain pressure from different directions. This is a serious development and needs to be taken as such by our political, diplomatic and strategic planners, thinkers and decision-makers. There is something seriously wrong somewhere and it is regrettable that internally we are not as united and strong as we should be in the face of such developments and their repercussions. Mention of names of these entities is not end of the world as this is mere a statement and not an agreed plan of action but it is also worrisome because the development has ignored the ground realities. Pakistan miserably failed to put across its point of view effectively despite the fact that it has been taking tangible action against all sorts of terrorists. Similarly, there is clear evidence that TTP that attacks targets inside Pakistan is backed by Indian and Afghan security agencies but there is no reference of such support in the declaration. BRICS has called for end of violence in Afghanistan but this is not possible without putting an end to Indian interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan from where terrorists are unleashed against targets in Pakistan. India is also guilty of state-sponsored terrorism in Occupied Kashmir but this aspect has also been ignored in the communiqué. We hope the on-going envoys’ conference in Islamabad would consider these and similar other issues and firm up a clear road-map to safeguard our national interests.