India’s victory

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2017 11:56:33

From the 2-3 occasions when China had opposed the Indian move in the United Nations to have a dreaded terrorist declared as global offender to the moment in Beijing when China joined other members of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) to name terror groups which Pakistan has sponsored all along, it has been a tremendous journey of successful Indian diplomacy. The constant and consistent effort by India to impress upon the world about Pakistan’s complicity in sponsorship of terrorism had already convinced the leaders of various nations about the correctness of the Indian stand. China, however, was inclined to help its ally -- Pakistan -- and opposed the Indian efforts. Now at the Bejing Summit, Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping could not possibly resist the overwhelming pressure from other members to name the terror groups that Pakistan has sponsored all these years. Obviously, India has scored a major diplomatic victory on a ticklish issue.

For Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the moment when the 43-page BRICS declaration was revealed must have been one of a sense of tremendous achievement personally and nationally. It is Mr. Modi who has masterminded the entire diplomatic endeavour in this regard for the past three years. It required him to go round the world repeatedly meeting global leaders, talking to diplomats, interacting with Indians abroad as well as other audiences with diverse constituents. That tireless global campaign has certainly led to creation of a very positive opinion about India the world over on most issues including terrorism, India as a favoured investment destination, as a global manufacturing hub, as a country with unique demographic dividend through more than 65% of Indians below 35 years of age...! The BRICS declaration in Beijing is one more feather in Mr. Modi’s cap and one more chapter in India’s international story of last 3 years.

Of course, the Chinese agreement to join other BRICS members to name terror groups in safe havens provided by Pakistan does not end the story. In fact, it is at this point that a new page gets added to the narrative. For, the next small step would be to start minding a possible collective action in BRICS countries to combat terror. The bigger step would follow subsequently when BRICS becomes an interest-and-pressure-group to start campaigning against terrorism actively -- by isolating Pakistan and any other nation sponsoring terrorism at international forums of diplomacy, development and economy. Only time will tell if China takes a consistent and cogent stand on the issue of terrorism and walks along other nations.

In a democratic world, forums like BRICS have a special significance. For, they afford an international platform for discourse on collective welfare, growth and development, for a continuous multi-dimensional dialogue on vexed challenges that confront humanity from time to time. The most basic effort at such forums is to achieve consensus on most issues so that there is a common and comprehensive approach to solving the problems. That often leads to sharing of information and expertise that avoids repetitive and time-consuming engagement of the world governments.

India has often engaged itself actively on most such international platforms. Over time, the world has come to recognise the Indian contribution to collective thought of the welfare of the larger human society. All those painstaking efforts over time found some fruition at Beijing’s BRICS Summit. Without doubt, Mr. Narendra Modi will return from Beijing having scored a major victory for India. But there is also no doubt that he is aware of the reality that this journey is without any destination per se. In diplomacy, all that is to be achieved is a non-stop engagement.