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India's neighbor 'mother ship of terrorism': PM

October 17, 2016

In a thinly-veiled reference to Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a country in India's neighborhood a "mother ship of terrorism." His comments came at a BRICS summit in Goa.

Indien Goa Benaulim BRICS Gipfel
Image: Reuters/D. Siddiqui

Speaking at the two-day summit of BRICS countries, which include Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments escalated his diplomatic drive to isolate Pakistan, which India accuses of sponsoring cross-border terrorism.

 "Tragically the mother ship of terrorism is a country in India's neighborhood," Modi (above photo, third from left) said in his comments to the summit, without naming Pakistan.

"In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development," Modi said as BRICS leaders met at a resort hotel in the western state of Goa. "Terror modules around the world are linked to this mother ship. This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains."

"It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as BRICS need to stand and act together. BRICS must speak in one voice against this threat," Modi added.

Tension between the South Asian neighbors has risen following a raid last month on an Indian army base which killed 19 soldiers. New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based militants for the attack.

Pakistan response

In response, Pakistan has accused Modi of misleading summit participants and seeking to conceal India's alleged brutality in the parts of the divided Kashmir region which it rules. Dozens of separatist militants have died since protests began in July.

"The people of Indian Occupied Kashmir are being subjected to genocide by India for demanding their fundamental right to self determination," said Sartaj Aziz, a foreign policy adviser to Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

China, a longstanding ally of Pakistan, plans to build a $46 billion (41.9-billion-euro) export corridor to the Arabian Sea coast and has been cautious in its comments.

After a bilateral meeting with Modi on Saturday night, President Xi Jinping said China and India should "support each other in participating in regional affairs and enhance cooperation within multilateral frameworks," according to China's Xinhua state news agency. Earlier this year, Beijing blocked a request from India to add a Pakistani militant group chief to a United Nations sanctions blacklist

The final summit declaration repeated earlier condemnations of "terrorism in all its forms," with several paragraphs referring to a joint effort to fight terrorism, without specific reference to India and Pakistan.

jm/cmk (Reuters, AFP)