To counter terrorism, BRICS leaders to develop an effective strategy, says expert

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Updated: Nov 18, 2020 3:44 PM

On Tuesday in his virtual address at the 12th BRICS summit hosted by Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made it explicitly clear that India expects BRICS to become an effective tool to counter the menace of terrorism.

New membership means more resources to integrate the neighbourhood with the respective BRICS.While Russia and China have their own ways of dealing with this threat, India's democratic system limits the way it can deal with this issue.

On Tuesday in his virtual address at the 12th BRICS summit hosted by Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made it explicitly clear that India expects BRICS to become an effective tool to counter the menace of terrorism.

At the end of the virtual summit, the member countries adopted the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy drafted by Russia. The strategy which called upon all the countries to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist activities against not only their citizens but also other countries did not mention the current standoff between India and China.

Besides India, Brazil and South Africa, China was also a signatory to the declaration, which talked of “respect for territorial integrity” of Iraq, Libya, and Syria in the context of the UN.

India is one of the prime victims of terrorism. While Russia and China have their own ways of dealing with this threat, India’s democratic system limits the way it can deal with this issue. Without naming anyone, he made it clear that terrorism is the biggest international threat today. An influential organisation like the BRICS ought to address the issue of cross-border terrorism.

Sharing his view with Financial Express Online, G Venkat Raman, Associate Professor, IIM, Indore, says, “ If BRICS has to remain effective, then member-states have to engage in ‘diffused reciprocity.’ In other words, it has to show the political will to forego substantial flexibility and its short term gains to ensure long term benefits. In a satisfactory development, the BRICS adopted a strategy for countering global terrorism. However, it does not mention the names of organisations or countries from where they emanate. It will require a lot of efforts and political commitment from all the leaders to develop an effective strategy for countering terrorism. China’s continued support to Pakistan will come in way of India’s agenda of dealing with terrorism. It is unlikely that China will support India’s counter-terrorism measures against its “all-weather friend” Pakistan.”

“Despite growing proximity between India and the US in the last few years, India continues to have an abiding belief in the virtues of neutrality in its foreign policy. Maintaining’strategic autonomy’ is vital for India’s national interests. India’s engagement with the BRICS is a part of its strategy to pursue its policy of multi-alignment. India’s membership in the Quad does not come in its way of dealing with the BRICS,” he opines.

According to Prof G Venkat Raman, “Prime Minister Modi underlined the centrality of multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the WTO and the WHO in dealing with the global issues of economic growth and stability. Without these institutions, the world is likely to turn more inward and protectionist. However, he emphasized the need for a reformed multilateralism which represents the contemporary reality and the distribution of power. One of the reasons why these organisations have become ineffective is their resistance to reform and make them more representative.”

India’s pharma sector is well known for its capabilities. “The covid pandemic has provided the BRICS members with an opportunity to intensify cooperation to harness their respective strengths and announce to the world that BRICS is not merely anti-western rhetoric as some western experts portray. On the contrary, it’s a significant force to reckon with and committed to fight the cause of larger humanity at large and provide the desired leadership to fight for a fair and just world,” he says.

“In short, the BRICS reiterated some of its earlier demands of reforming global institutions and making them more representative, tackling the menace of global terrorism, dealing with the pandemic, and designing a sustainable development programme for the coming decade. It recognizes the value of developing a BRICS-strategy to counter-terrorism, developing a consensus on climate change and digital cooperation for enhanced trade and cooperation,” he concludes.

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