Without naming the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told G20 leaders that one single nation in South Asia was spreading terror in the region. He also said the international community must isolate those who sponsor and support terrorism instead of rewarding them.
Intervening in the final session on ‘Other significant issues’ that affect the world economy on the last day of the two-day G20 Summit in Hangzhou, he said, “Growing forces of violence and terror pose a fundamental challenge. There are some nations that use it as an instrument of state policy. One single nation in South Asia is spreading these agents of terror in the countries of our region. India has a policy of zero tolerance to terrorism. Because anything less than that is not enough. For us, a terrorist is a terrorist.”
The prime minister said India expected the international community to speak and act in unity, and respond urgently to fight this menace. “Those who sponsor and support terrorism must be isolated and sanctioned, not rewarded,” he said. On Sunday, he had raised the issue of China Pakistan Economic Corridor with Chinese President Xi Jinping, expressing concerns that it passed through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir which was a major source of terror for India.
During the day, he had separate bilateral meetings with United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Argentina President Mauricio Macri. In his meeting with Erdogan, the NSG issue was also discussed, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. Turkey was the only country that pushed for directly clubbing India and Pakistan’s applications at the NSG meeting in South Korea in June this year. The two also discussed economic cooperation, enhancing civil aviation links and energy issues. The Turkish side flagged its concerns about Gulen presence in India to which New Delhi said its investigative agencies are looking at that.
In his first meeting with Theresa after she took charge as UK Prime Minister, Modi congratulated her and underlined that even after Brexit, the UK remained as important a partner for India as before, the MEA spokesperson said. Modi pointed out to her that the new UK visa regulations could have a negative impact on Indian working professionals making short-term business visits to UK. They also discussed enhancing counter terrorism cooperation with Modi noting that she was well aware of the dangers of terrorism alluding to her previous stint as a Home Secretary. To a specific question if the two talked about a separate trade deal, the MEA spokesperson said it will perhaps wait till the UK’s relation with EU are still being discussed.
In his bilateral meeting with Argentinian President Macri, who is scheduled to host the next G20 summit, Modi thanked him for his country’s support for India’s NSG membership and also allowing Indian pharma products under a special category. The two countries, which are discussing a bilateral investment treaty, also agreed to further cooperate in solar energy, especially as part of the international solar alliance. Macri also invited Indian companies to participate in the exploration of share gas reserves in Argentina and sought Indian collaboration in the area of food security.
In a separate brief pull-aside with French President Francois Hollande, the Prime Minister discussed the massive data leak of the Scorpene submarines, designed by French company DCNS, the MEA spokesperson said. “I do not have further details,” he said to further questions on the subject. The two leaders, he said, discussed climate change, reviewed the overall direction of the strategic relationship between the countries and also political, economic and security and defence cooperation.