Expressing concern over the situation in the restive country and strongly condemning the deadly terror attack outside the Kabul airport on August 26, the Brics nations stressed the need to refrain from violence and settle matters by peaceful means. “We stress the need to contribute to fostering an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country,’’ said the New Delhi Declaration after the summit.
It stressed the threat from “cross-border movement of terrorists” and terrorism-financing networks and havens while reiterating the Brics condemnation of terrorism in all forms. The mention of cross-border movement is important for India in the context of Pakistan-based terror groups, and also for Russia which worries about the possibility of conflict resulting in a spread of terrorism to Russian territory.
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While not naming US or any other western country, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his opening remarks said the current crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of “irresponsible attempts to impose alien values from the outside, the desire to build so-called democratic structures by methods of socio-political engineering, without taking into account either the historical or national characteristics of other peoples, ignoring their traditions’’.
Putin said Brics is not interested in Afghanistan remaining a danger to the surrounding countries, so that “terrorism and illegal drug trafficking threaten us from Afghan territory’’.
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The Declaration also emphasised the humanitarian situation and the need to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities. While Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, unlike Putin, didn’t mention Afghanistan in their opening remarks, the Afghanistan situation was discussed in detail, officials said. “There was a consensus that was supportive of the Indian perspective that the situation in Afghanistan shouldn’t become a problem for the neighbourhood,’’ said secretary (MEA) and India’s Brics Sherpa Sanjay Bhattacharya. Modi mentioned in his remarks that Brics had recently adopted a counter-terrorism action plan.
The group said it recognised the threat emanating from terrorism, extremism conducive to terrorism and radicalisation. “We reiterate that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, and human rights, emphasising that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism with the United Nations continuing to play central and coordinating role in this area,’’ said the Declaration.
Brics also stressed the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment. It rejected double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism.
Referring to US actions, Putin said, “All this turns into destabilisation and, ultimately, chaos, after which the authors of these experiments hastily retreat, abandoning, among other things, their charges to their fate. The entire world community has to disentangle the consequences.’’
The Declaration endorsed the Brics Counter-Terrorism Action Plan for implementing its counter-terror strategy which was adopted by the national security advisers. The Plan is aimed at implementing the strategy and defines the approach and actions of the five nations countries towards counter-terrorism cooperation, including ensuring coordinated efforts to understand, identify and collaboratively respond to persistent and emerging terrorist threats.