Rejecting criticism that it failed to secure a reference to cross-border terrorism in the BRICS declaration, Government on Tuesday said the Summit recognized that there was no bigger global challenge than state-sponsored and state-protected terrorism and that it cannot be "business as usual" on this front.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the threat of terror "featured strongly" in the narrative of the recently concluded Summit in Goa and there was recognition that the international community can only ignore it at its peril.
In clear reference to Pakistan, Swaraj said there is a need to extract costs from those who sponsor, support and provide sanctuary to terror networks besides continuing to make "false distinction" between "good and bad terrorists".
In a veiled comparison to stark contrast between BIMSTEC countries and Pakistan, Swaraj said the regional bloc on Tuesday represents the "polar opposite" of a terrorism promoting polity.
Swaraj used the strong words during her an address at the BRICS media forum here.
"There is a developing consensus that it cannot be business as usual. We must be prepared to extract costs for those who sponsor and support terrorists, who provide them sanctuary, and who, despite their own claimed victimhood, continue to make the false distinction between good and bad terrorists.
"BRICS has always been global in its approach and today, there is no bigger global challenge than state-sponsored and state-protected terrorism," she said.
In an obvious reference to Pakistan blocking several pacts on transport and connectivity in SAARC, Swaraj indicated that India would work closely with the regional grouping of BIMSTEC -- Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation -- whose members include Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
"There cannot be a greater contrast with those who reject even trade and connectivity for political reasons," she said. In last SAARC summit in Kathmandu, Pakistan had stalled signing of a key transportation pact which was strongly pushed by India.
On deliberations at the BRICS, Swaraj said there was a sharp realisation that global development and prosperity was very much dependent on continued peace and security.
"Terrorism was universally recognised as a key threat to stability, progress and development. Consequently, it featured strongly in the conference narrative and its eventual outcome.
"Indeed, what we saw was not just an understanding of the dangers posed by terrorism to the economic aspirations of the world but a growing recognition that this has now become a truly global challenge that the international community can only ignore at its peril," she said.