Pakistan rejects BRICS Summit declaration, says defence minister

Violet Powell
September 7, 2017

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif will visit Beijing on Friday to discuss a range of issues with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, China said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan has no "safe haven" for terrorists on its soil, as he rejected the declaration naming terrorist groups in the region by leaders of member countries at the BRICS Summit. "These organisations are all sanctioned by the UN Security Council and have a significant impact for Afghanistan issue", foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. "The two sides have seen their relationship growing with a sound momentum, frequent high-level exchanges and fruitful outcomes of political cooperation", he said.

Although Beijing and Islamabad consider their fellow nuclear-armed country India to be their regional rival, China and India have signaled concern about Pakistani-based jihadists, a position that is consistent with recent remarks from U.S. President Donald Trump as he announced his plan to end the 16-year-old war, officially dubbed the South Asia Strategy.

In an emphatic diplomatic victory for India, BRICS countries, which included hosts China, named Pakistan based militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Haqqani network in its declaration that condemned terrorism.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Wednesday, the minister will leave for Beijing on the first leg of his tour to the regional countries to garner support for Pakistan in the wake of the United States strategy announced by President Donald Trump last month.

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"We strongly condemn terrorist attacks resulting in death of innocent Afghan nationals". I don't think when the BRICS declaration is made, Pakistan is consulted. "I don't think it is good idea", Hu Shisheng, director of the state-run China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, was quoted as telling news agency PTI. This is too costly to China. "Still, it has set a precedent that should give Pakistan cause for worry, at the very least".

Trump did not outline what actions he might order to pressure Islamabad to move against the alleged terrorist sanctuaries.

China has been forced to condemn terrorist based organisations. Some Chinese nationals have lost their lives inside Pakistan at the hands of Islamic terrorists. "It means that a big part of Afghanistan is a safe haven".

"In the future, sharing intelligence, building a drill mechanism and normalising these actions are the methods that the BRICS should refer to on counter-terrorism cooperation", Hu said.

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