Speaking at a plenary session of the BRICS Summit in Goa, Modi said the reach of terrorism was global and called for deeper engagement between the national security advisers of the five member nations – Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa.
“Terrorists funding, their weapon supply, training and political support must be systematically cut off. Selective approaches to terrorist individuals and organizations will not only be futile but also counter-productive,” Modi said.
“Our response to terrorism must, therefore, be nothing less than comprehensive … we need to act both individually and collectively.”
Modi’s remarks came just hours after he launched a scathing but unnamed attack on Pakistan, calling it the “mother-ship” of terrorism with whom extremist modules across the world are linked.
“There must be no distinction based on artificial or self-serving grounds,” Modi added, in what was seen as a nudge to neighbouring China that remained noncommittal on countering Pakistan.
In his speech, the prime minister outlined five goals for the summit: One, focus on continuance of institution building within BRICS nations; second, transform the trade and investment linkages among the five countries; third, focus on key economic priorities; four, secure the countries against the threat of terrorism and fifth, enhance people-to-people contact.
“We agreed that those who nurture, shelter, support and sponsor forces of violence and terror are as much a threat to us as terrorists themselves,” Modi said later in the day.
“We were also one in agreeing that BRICS need to work together and act decisively to combat this threat.”
On Saturday, India won strong backing on terrorism from Russian President Vladimir Putin, prompting Modi to say Moscow’s stand on the issue “mirrors our own”. But Indian officials speaking about the prime minister’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping used rather defensive language, signalling little progress in those talks.
Beijing gave no assurance on supporting New Delhi’s bid on a United Nations ban against Pakistan-based militant leader Masood Azhar, saying no more than that terrorism was a “key issue” and the two sides should strengthen their security dialogue and partnership.
“We underscored the need for close coordination on tracking sources of terrorist financing and targeting the hardware of terrorism, including weapons’ supplies, ammunition, equipment and training,” Modi said.