Leaders of India, Russia and China issued a joint communique on Wednesday, stating that extremist groups must not be supported and used for political and geopolitical goals. At the 16th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia India and China in Wuzhen, the three countries said that those who back terrorism must be brought to justice, PTI reported.
The statement came even as Pakistani jets allegedly violated Indian airspace, and claimed to have shot down two Indian Air Force aircraft. India has refuted the claim of its jet being downed. Pakistan has also claimed that it captured an IAF pilot. India, on the other hand, says it downed a Pakistani F-16 jet.
The Pakistani violation was in retaliation of an Indian Air Force strike in Balakote, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan on Tuesday, to eliminate a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp.
On February 14, a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist drove an explosive-laden van into a convoy carrying Central Reserve Police Force jawans, killing 40 of them. India said on Tuesday that it carried out air strikes to eliminate the camp in Balakote, on the basis of intelligence that Jaish-e-Mohammed was planning another attack in the country.
Beijing, New Delhi and Moscow on Wednesday unanimously condemned terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”. The Chinese Foreign Ministry sent a statement to the Hindustan Times, which said: “China, Russia and India, as world powers and important emerging market countries, share common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in promoting world peace, stability and development.”
“It’s not just a joint strategy but also our commitment,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said. “Terrorism is a threat to humanity, so strategy by the three countries is not enough.” She called for global cooperation, and a mechanism led by the United Nations to counter terrorism.
Swaraj said that India decided to attack the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakote because Pakistan refuses to take action against terror groups. “The target was selected in order to avoid civilian casualties,” she added. “This was not a military operation. No military installations were targeted.” The external affairs minister added that India does not wish to see the situation escalate further.