Pak rejects BRICS declaration, says no 'safe haven' on its soil

by Antonio Miles September 7, 2017, 1:51
Pak rejects BRICS declaration, says no 'safe haven' on its soil

For the first time, BRICS Summit in their joint declaration named Pakistan-based terrorist groups as a concern for regional security and called for action against them.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif will visit the regional countries - beginning with China - on September 8 to discuss the foreign policy and the future strategy.

Separately, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan was "seriously concerned" over the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in the South Asian region.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa condemned "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" at the 9th BRICS Summit in China on Monday.

The remarks by Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan came days after U.S. President Donald Trump singled out Pakistan for harboring terrorist organizations, including the Taliban and Haqqani network, which destabilize Afghanistan and plot attacks on American troops there.

He believes China has economic interests in the region and "needs stability in Pakistan as it builds out its China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] in that country".

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Trump last month blamed Pakistan for "housing" terrorist groups that are fighting Afghan and American forces in Afghanistan.

The declaration was passed by the member countries at the BRICS summit in China.

BRICS did not eplicitly identify Pakistan by name, but Islamabad's links to certain jihadi groups are no secret to the worldwide community, particularly India, China, and the United Nations.

"We reaffirm that those responsible for committing, organizing, or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable", the declaration added. "We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda and its affiliates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Haqqani Network, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammad, TTP and Hizbut Tahrir", the leaders had said in the declaration. China's endorsement of BRICS declaration, which is also seen as a significant diplomatic victory for India, was sharply criticised by a Chinese think tank, saying that it would strain close relations between China and Pakistan.

"All this said, I don't think this will lead to any policy shifts in Pakistan".

"China is also a victim of terrorism and is firmly against any kind of terrorism, and that's the main reason that the organisations are named in the declaration", Hu said. Some Chinese nationals have lost their lives inside Pakistan at the hands of Islamic terrorists.


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