China may have ensured that the 'P' word didn't find its way in the Goa declaration; but that hasn't stopped India from filling the blanks. A day after the BRICS summit concluded, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, at the inauguration of the BRICS Media Forum, said terrorism featured strongly in the narrative of the conference and its outcome. "Terrorism was universally recognised as a key threat to stability, progress and development,'' she added.
There was a “developing consensus” that it cannot be business as usual, she said. In a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan she said, “We must be prepared to extract costs from those who sponsor and support terrorists, who provide them sanctuary, and who, despite their own claimed victimhood, continue to make the false distinction between good and bad terrorists. BRICS has always been global in its approach and today, there is no bigger global challenge than state-sponsored and state-protected terrorism.”
The BIMSTEC countries—that formed the outreach group of the summit—represent the “polar opposite of a terrorism promoting polity'' she said. “They are focused on improving the quality of life of their people, on skills and employment, on education and health, and on the quality of governance and the deepening of democracy. These are nations who are actively promoting connectivity, cooperation and contact amongst themselves”.
In another reference to Pakistan, she said, “There cannot be a greater contrast with those who reject trade and connectivity for political reasons”.
Taking stock of India's tenure as chair, she said the emphasis has been to build people to people linkages to bring the countries closer. “We were conscious that the BRICS not only represents a sixth of humanity, but is also a powerful voice of hope for future generations”.
A total of 115 events were organised during this period.