Panaji: While the BIMSTEC outcome document too did not mention cross-border terrorism or names of Pakistan based terror outfits, it still managed to hit the spot with Indian authorities as it demanded action against states which provided sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups.
The document in fact also stated that there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs. This is significant because it was none other than Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif who described Burhan Wani, the Hizbul militant killed in an encounter with security forces, as a martyr.
Unlike the BRICS Goa Declaration, the BIMSTEC outcome was much more powerfully worded. China had blocked any mention of cross-border terrorism and also names of JeM and LeT in the Brics document.
“We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against States who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues,” said the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat 2016 Outcome Document issued after a meeting at a Cavelossim beach resort.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC comprises 5 nations from South Asia and 2 from southeast Asia. India invited BIMSTEC for the BRICS outreach meeting months before flare up in Kashmir in July and has already officially declared that Saarc and BIMSTEC can’t substitute for each other. However, the support from BIMSTEC is important in the context of India’s renewed focus on the group.
While the documents did not mention the Uri attack, it condemned in “the strongest terms the recent barbaric attacks in the region”.
Recognizing that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in the region, the document reiterated the group’s strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever.
“We recognize the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. We express our determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among our law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations,” said the document.