India and Japan held their inaugural ‘two-plus-two’ dialogue yesterday, comprising of the Defence and Foreign Ministers of the two countries. The two sides came together to issue a joint statement against condemning terrorism, and also asking Pakistan to rein in terrorism. The ministers representing their countries also discussed Beijing’s recent move to tweak the proposed South China Sea Code of Conduct, and opposed China’s move of pressing the ASEAN hard to insert certain clauses in the proposed Code, which would help the Dragon in keeping away its rivals and other nations outside the region away from the disputed South China Sea.
Showing their commitment towards closer co-operation in the security sector, the joint statement read, “significant progress made in the negotiations of Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)”- a proposed logistics support agreement between the two countries that will allow the armed forces of the two countries to use facilities at the each other’s military bases.
On the aspect of terrorism, the joint statement noted, “The threat posed to regional security by terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it (Pakistan) to take resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with international commitments including to the (global anti-terror watchdog) Financial Action Task Force (FATF)”.
On the issue of terrorism, the joint statement also went on to read, “The ministers condemned in the strongest terms the growing threat of terrorism and acknowledged that it constituted a major threat to peace and security in the region. The Ministers called upon all countries take resolute action in rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and eliminating financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.”
The joint statement therefore further exposes the image of Pakistan as the ivy league of terrorism. It has already been identified as a threat to regional security and the hotbed of terrorism by several countries across the globe. Pakistan, which has been one of the most instrumental entities in abetting and promoting terrorism around the world. It has also been exhorted by several countries to take stern and decisive action against terrorism emanating out of its soil. Having realised Pakistan’s nefarious designs, Japan too has joined India in creating pressure over Pakistan to act on this issue.
Last year, an Oxford study had revealed that Pakistan has the highest number of terror bases in the world. The study published jointly by the Oxford University and the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) had also revealed that Pakistan posed 3 times greater risk to humanity than the risk posed by Syria. The report titled ‘Humanity at Risk-Global Terror Threat Indicant (GTTI)’ had noted, “Afghan Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) pose the maximum threat to international security and Pakistan is placed on top of the list of countries with the highest number of terrorist bases and safe havens.”
The joint statement has undoubtedly come as a huge diplomatic victory for India. It also comes as a major shot in the arm for India’s security situation, which has been affected in a major way due to Pakistan’s terror infrastructure in the recent past. This also sets the stage for the upcoming two day India-Japan Summit between PM Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.