Established as a forum to provide an alternative paradigm to the Western economic model and to scale new economic heights, the BRICS is now in bad shape, riven by divergent opinions, especially on the security front.
This was accentuated by India's failure to forge a consensus on references to "cross-border terrorism" and Pakistan in the BRICS declaration. It was evident that as the host nation India tried to use it to its domestic purpose.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi roared that Pakistan is the "mother ship of terror". Despite India's best efforts to forge a common front on terror, it was elusive because some members either aligned with Pakistan or remained "neutral" in the conflict between the two warring neighbours. Within a day of curtains coming down on the BRICS plenary, China has made it clear that it is against linking any country or religion with terrorism. It further wants the international community to recognise the "great sacrifices" Pakistan made in combating terrorism.
Beijing's unwillingness to change its stand on India's bid to Nuclear Suppliers Group membership and United Nations proscription on Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Masood Azhar despite Modi's hyperbolic description of Pakistan is of much consequence to India and circumscribes its options to move against Pakistan.
It is unfortunate that India defines itself in term of its relationship with Pakistan. It cannot do so for long. There is no option for Modi but to follow in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's and Manmohan Singh's footsteps and seek peaceful coexistence with Pakistan, despite the stark religious fault lines.
G David Milton, Maruthancode
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