‘India used BRICS summit to outmanoeuvre Pakistan’
India has “outmanoeuvred” Pakistan by effectively branding its neighbour as a “regional pariah” at the BRICS summit, an article in the State-run Global Times said on Wednesday.
“Given the uneasy background of Indo-Pak tension, which escalated last month and the inclusion of BIMSTEC bore even thicker geo-strategic connotations,” it said.
“As India invited all countries in the region except Pakistan, it, in effect, consigned Pakistan to be a regional pariah,” the article titled, India uses BRICS to outmanoeuvre Pakistan, said.
A grouping minus Pakistan
Referring to India’s decision not to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad, it said, “The collapse of the SAARC summit presented India a rare opportunity to get rid of any constraints Islamabad may have had <g data-gr-id="47">over </g>the regional group, as the same group would soon gather in Goa in the absence of Pakistan.”
BIMSTEC also made a major difference for India at the Goa summit, it said, “A major difference between the Goa summit and the previous ones was that New Delhi put the [BIMSTEC] in tandem with the BRICS meeting.”
By bringing regional countries — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan — together with the major emerging economies of the BRICS, the daily said, India breathed legitimacy and substance into an otherwise “<g data-gr-id="48">hallow</g> and moribund acronym organisation.”
“While the rest of the BRICS members would never openly endorse either side in the Indo-Pak tension, India in a way secured its stance with regards to Pakistan by taking advantages of its agenda-setting powers for the summits,” it said.
“While the prospect of BIMSTEC as a more effective alternative to SAARC remains ambiguous, a subcontinent grouping without Pakistan balancing and checking a dominant India may well raise suspicions and fear for smaller countries,” it said.
The summit also helped India to push for its membership of the NSG, which was blocked by China, as well as for a permanent seat <g data-gr-id="50">in</g> the UN Security Council (UNSC), it said.
“The BRICS summit brings India an ideal mechanism to articulate and push for its reformist demands together with like-minded countries. This common front became particularly valuable for New Delhi, especially as its arduous bids for Nuclear Suppliers Group’s (NSG) membership as well as for a permanent seat on an enlarged United Nation Security Council have both met with frustration,” it said.
‘India presented itself as a bright spot’
The article said that India successfully projected itself as the fastest growing economy compared to other members of the BRICS.
“During the summit, India presented itself as a bright spot in a bloc whose other members have been buffeted by economic headwinds to varying degrees. With a GDP growth rate of 7.5 <g data-gr-id="51">per cent</g> in 2015 against a rather gloomy global backdrop, India has replaced China as the world’s fastest-growing large economy,” the article said.
“But India finds confidence in talking about economic matters. After all, the setbacks undergone by its fellow countries made India’s recent economic achievements shine even brighter in comparison,” it said.
“Although India’s domestic reforms have only made limited inroads in key areas such as land acquisition and labour regulation, an aspirant [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi equipped with newly-gained confidence on India’s growth prospects has clearly made the country more proactive,” it added.