India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Pakistan the “mothership of terrorism” at a Brics summit today, highlighting tensions within the group.
Member China is a close ally of India’s neighbour and rival.
At several events over the weekend, Modi made comments emphasising the need for tough global action against Pakistan-based terror groups carrying out attacks in India. New Delhi says these groups receive support from Pakistan’s military and intelligence service, though Islamabad denies this.
Modi made the remarks to a meeting of leaders from the Brics (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa), signifying a desire to ramp up his effort to isolate Pakistan. He also had a series of one-to-one meeting with world leaders.
“In our own region, terrorism poses a grave threat to peace, security and development,” Modi said at a resort hotel in Goa, where the leaders had assembled.
“Tragically, the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” he added.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated since an attack last month on an Indian army base, killing 19 soldiers. India then said it carried out retaliatory “surgical strikes” across the de facto border, inflicting heavy casualties.
The latest comments mark a more hard-line stance from India and suggest distrust between New Delhi and Beijing has deepened. China plans to build a $46bn export corridor to the Arabian Sea coast and is a long-term ally of Pakistan.
While at the summit, Chinese president Xi Jinping spoke on the economic turbulence Brics countries were facing, acknowledging they were among those currently enduring slower economic growth. He also stressed that the strength and potential of the group was "unchanged" due to their resources and workforces.
The Brics leaders agreed to set up a new credit rating agency and expand the role of emerging economies, as well as recognising the threat from terrorism.
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The Brics group has about half of the world's population and nearly 25 per cent of global economic output.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for world economic growth in 2016 earlier this month. Brazil, South Africa and Russia were among the countries that received the steepest downgrades.