The Brics grouping on Monday bracketed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed with global terror groups Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
China has made a mistake by including terrorist groups based in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Xiamen declaration as the move could prove costly for its ties with countries in the region, experts said. Also, they said the agenda of Brics, which is an economic forum, was hijacked. The Xiamen declaration endorsed and issued by the five Brics countries on Monday listed the “Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates, including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir,” as terrorist groups. “We deplore all terrorist attacks… and condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever and stress that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism,” the statement said. But Chinese experts questioned what they said selective inclusion of groups in the list. “The China-Pakistan relationship will face its biggest, biggest challenge since the 1960s,” Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told Hindustan Times. “I think this is too costly,” Hu said. “It is really a big mistake, which the Chinese government will feel in the coming years.” A leading expert on south Asia echoed Hu’s view. “India won the game and the statement is what India wanted and got. It’s not a step that China should have allowed,” the expert, who did not wish to be identified, said.According to Hu, the Haqqani network is in a commanding position within the Afghan Taliban, which now controls more than 40% of the territory in Afghanistan. “There is a rationale to regard this group as a political group more than a terror group,” Hu said. “Such an inclusion could make the Afghanistan situation worse.” China’s role in promoting Afghanistan’s political reconciliation will be reduced to nothing, he added. “Brics is not the ideal platform for the emerging economies to talk about terrorism. I think the agenda of this Brics summit has been hijacked by some forces,” Hu said. Wang Dehua from the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies questioned the selective inclusion of groups from Pakistan. “I frequently hear from Pakistan that they think India supports the Balochistan Liberation Army and other subversive groups active along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” Wang said.