BRICS member countries name Pakistan-based groups as security concern

BISHKEK (TCA) — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which comprise the BRICS grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, at a summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen on September 4 called for an immediate end to violence in Afghanistan and issued a statement that includes for the first time Pakistan-based militant groups as a regional security concern, RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal reports.

“We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death to innocent Afghan nationals,” the leaders said in a declaration.

“We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, [Islamic State]…, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.”

Preeti Saran, an official with India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said it was the first time there had been a specific listing of militant groups in a BRICS document and that his country welcomed the move as “a very important development” in the fight against militant attacks, of which it has been a target.

Lashkar-e Taiba is a militant group based in Pakistan that India has blamed for cross-border attacks, including a 2008 assault on Mumbai in which 166 people were killed. Jaish-e Mohammad, another anti-Indian group based in Pakistan, was blamed for a 2001 attack on parliament.

Officials in Islamabad have denied any involvement in attacks in India, including in the disputed region of Kashmir. Pakistan has itself claimed to be a victim of attacks.

“You cannot have good and bad terrorists, and it is a collective action. Members of the BRICS countries have themselves been victims of terrorism, and I would say that what has come of today acknowledges the fact that we must work collectively in handling this,” Saran said.

China, a close ally of Pakistan, has repeatedly blocked attempts by India to get the head of Jaish-e Mohammad added to a UN blacklist of groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistan on the BRICS resolution.

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Times of Central Asia