Pakistan to be kept away from BRICS outreach: Indian sources

A protester hurls a stone towards cops during a protest in Srinagar against the recent killings in Kashmir on August 26. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, India Aug 30, 2016, 01.07 PM (IST)
In a major shift, India will now escalate the issue of alleged human rights violations in Pakistan Controlled Kashmir and Baluchistan in international forums. This is to offset Pakistan's attempt to rake up the Kashmir issue in multilateral forums. 

Last week, Pakistan had appointed 22 emissaries to address alleged human rights violations in the valley. Top sources in New Delhi confirmed to WION that India will exclude Pakistan from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) regional outreach programme to be held in Goa in the month of October. This marks a break in tradition where the host countries invite regional players or neighbours for the outreach programme - Latin American countries were called at Fortaleza in Brazil in 2014. The following year, Russia had invited all the Central Asian countries for an outreach event in Ufa. So, instead of calling SAARC nations, India has decided to engage with the BIMSTEC nations that include Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

The Indian Express reports that while Pakistan has been excluded, there is a proposal to invite the neighbouring non-BIMSTEC countries of Afghanistan and Maldives as "special invitees" or "observers".

Sources say that India is also expected to raise the Baluchistan issue vigorously at next week's G-20 summit in China and at the NAM conference which is supposed to be held in Venezuela in September end. 

The change in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pakistan policy has come after protests in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s death after an encounter in Kashmir. Experts say that the idea is to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and portray it as an undependable neighbour which is not ready to invest in peace, development and stability of the region.
India maintains that protests in the state have been actively fueled and financed by Pakistan. The thaw, which was evident after the Pathankot cantonment attack in Janaury this year, seems to have evaporated in the wake of the Kashmir crisis which continues to threaten stability of the coalition government in Kashmir.