India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has labeled its regional rival Pakistan the “mothership of terrorism” and a country that “radiates the darkness of terrorism” as violent and sometimes deadly clashes between the two nuclear-armed nations continue in the disputed region of Kashmir despite a 2003 ceasefire.
The PM comments came Sunday during a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations summit in the Indian city of Goa, attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighborhood,” Modi told the gathering in India of the heads of BRICS governments, in a not-so-implicit dig at Pakistan, reports the Guardian, adding:
Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership. This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains. It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as BRICS need to stand and act together. BRICS must speak in one voice against this threat.
Both Pakistan and India accuse one another of starting the provocations that lead to clashes along Line of Control (LoC), a heavily militarized and mountainous frontier that divides the respective sections of Kashmir controlled by each country.
While India accuses Pakistan of arming and training terrorists in Kashmir fighting for independence from India or in favor of a merger with Pakistan, Pakistan accuses Modi’s Hindu nationalist party of cracking down on dissidents in the territory India holds in Kashmir. Both countries deny the allegations.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is associated to Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing Hindu nationalist party that has been accused of persecuting Christians and Muslims and forcing them to convert to Hinduism.
Referring to Pakistan, Modi also said at the BRICS summit:
Unfortunately, this country in India’s neighborhood which embraces and radiates the darkness of terrorism. Terrorism has become its favorite child. And, the child in turn has come to define the fundamental character and nature of its parent.
The time for condemning the state sponsored terrorism is long gone. It is time to stand up and act, and act decisively…
To those who nurture the philosophy of terror, and seek to dehumanize the mankind, we must send a clear message to mend their ways or be isolated in the civilized world.
In response, Pakistan accused India of “misleading” those at the BRICS summit about the reality on the ground in Kashmir.
“The Indian leadership is desperately trying to hide its brutalities in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, an internationally recognized dispute on the UNSC agenda, where innocent people are being killed and injured by the occupation forces daily with impunity,” said Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on foreign affairs.
“Pakistan calls upon the international community and especially the BRICS Leaders to ask India to stop bloodshed of Kashmiris immediately, release Kashmiri Leaders and thousands of Kashmiris taken away forcibly with their fate unknown and address the humanitarian crisis, caused by India through creation of shortage of basic amenities,” reports CNN.
Pakistan has also been accused of forcing Hindus and Christians to convert to Islam. U.S., Afghan, and Indian officials have long accused Islamabad of sheltering various terrorist groups.
On Sunday, the same day that the Indian PM addressed the BRICS nations, Pakistan was accused by India of indiscriminately firing, unprovoked, across the Line of Control (LoC), reports NDTV (New Delhi Television Limited).
Indian troops reportedly retaliated and Sepoy Sudhees Kumar, a 24-year-old Indian soldier, was killed in the attack.
India Today added that the Pakistan army targeted four Indian posts on Sunday, adding that over 25 ceasefire violations have been reported since September 29.
Although, India, Pakistan, and China all have competing claims to the Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir, Beijing has stayed in the shadows of the recent territorial disputes, maintaining a relationship with the two countries.
Nevertheless, China is one of Pakistan’s closest allies.
Despite condemning recent terror attacks in a statement, the BRICS countries at the summit in India did not mention Pakistan by name.
The United Stations Security Council (UNSC), which is being led by Russia during the month of October, has indicated it has no intentions of getting involved in the India-Pakistan dispute.
Clashes between India and Pakistan intensified after September 18, when Pakistan allegedly fired across the LoC, killing at least 18 soldiers.
In response, India launched “surgical strikes” on September 29 against four camps in Pakistan-held Kashmir, allegedly killing 38 terrorists by New Delhi’s account.
However, Pakistan maintains there were no strikes, saying that instead, the Indian military used small arms and mortars to target Pakistani troops, killing two soldiers and wounding nine others.