The alliterative, multiple-syllable headline distraction aside, the weekend saw one more political confab meander to a futile finish in the Indian state of Goa, known for its lovely palm-lined beaches and carnivals that capture a fun lifestyle.
Nothing substantive emerged from the Eighth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit other than the usual Declaration that can be summarised as minutes of a conference that achieved little. It was a parley as boring as any other.
But the Goa Summit turned out to be a platform for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to unleash another dose of verbal diarrhoea. He was at his dramatic best, calling Pakistan the “mothership of terrorism”.
China, a country that is neither swayed by theatricality nor ready to bow to any pressure, saw through Mr Modi’s political designs and stuck to its ground on its empathy with Pakistan. So, Pakistan escaped any blame for cross-border terrorism. India’s bid to name Pakistan in the Declaration ended in failure.
China Appears Evil, But It Got It Right on India
China appears evil on multiple fronts: consistent anti-India posturing, stealing patents, cloning innovations, encroaching into the territory of its neighbours and refusing to abide by UN Tribunal ruling on the South China Sea dispute.
Still, it got it right a week ago when it accused India of trying to extract political gains by seeking to have Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e Taiba leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed branded as terrorists.
They are terrorists in every sense of the term, having masterminded most strikes on India, including the Mumbai Blasts, the Pathankot raid and last month’s Uri attacks.
Is India Safer After Surgical Strikes?
But Mr Modi’s past does not show him as a peace-loving leader, he is only seen as a religious fanatic himself. So, he is unlikely to be taken seriously. Even the U.S., now among India’s best friends, recently refused to declare Pakistan a terror State.
His party and some of its friends in the Indian Army as well as the media have been gloating over the recent surgical strikes on terror pockets in Pakistan, but have they made India safer? The strikes would have been meaningful if they had succeeded in eliminating Masood and Hafiz.
Despite the strikes, we have only been reading about Pakistan’s ceasefire violations and more raids.
One Idle Conference After Another
Back to the BRICS Summit, the next one is set to be held in China next year. It will most certainly be another idle conference helping its leaders achieve their own individual agenda.
The world of business also sees such periodical conclaves with outcomes no different from what political parleys achieve. The one purpose they serve is of giving participants a pleasant diversion while taking stock of the present and planning for the future.
If only, politics and business are that simple, confined to tête-à-tête and number engineering! The world needs doers, not just talkers!
G Joslin Vethakumar