Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a swipe at Pakistan on Monday, telling leaders of the world’s top economies that they must isolate and sanction the “one single nation in South Asia” that is spreading “agents of terror” in the region.
Without naming India’s nuclear-armed foe, Modi told the concluding session of a G20 summit that his government appreciated the steps to combat the financing of terrorism, which was being used by some nations as an instrument of state policy.
“Indeed one single nation in South Asia is spreading these agents of terror in countries of our region,” Modi said in one of his interventions.
“We expect the international community to speak and act in unity, and to respond with urgency to fight this menace. Those who sponsor and support terrorism must be isolated and sanctioned, not rewarded… For us a terrorist is a terrorist.”
Modi tried to revive ties with Pakistan since coming to power two years ago, but those efforts have floundered, especially after an attack on an Indian air force base in Pathankot in January.
Relations further nosedived after a new round of street protests in Kashmir, triggered by the killing of a militant commander by security forces, but which New Delhi says were being instigated by Islamabad.
Modi’s remarks are also seen as a message to China and its close relations with Pakistan. Beijing has shown a consistent reluctance to allow a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, the alleged mastermind of the Pathankot attack.
The comments came a day after he sought to forge international opinion on isolating Pakistan in his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Earlier in the day, Modi called for the elimination of “safe havens” for economic offenders and “full commitment” from global powers to act against the corrupt and to disrupt excessive banking secrecy. He also held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Britain, France and Turkey.
The Prime Minister also said a stable global economic and financial system was imperative for growth. He called for further strengthening of the global financial safety net.
“We need regular dialogue between the IMF, Regional Financial Arrangements and Bilateral Swap Arrangements,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a series of tweets.
“Important mechanisms like financial stability board should stick to their core mandate.”
In his bilateral meeting with British prime minister Theresa May, Modi brought up the issue of terrorism and that the two countries should work together to tackle the menace.
With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Modi raised the issue of Ankara blocking New Delhi’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Swarup didn’t share details of the discussion on NSG beyond saying: “The NSG issue did come up.”