New Delhi: In a major setback to Islamabad and its pro-terror policies, the four-nation Quad on September 24 discussed at length Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and its involvement in terrorism.
"… When you see Pakistan projecting itself as a facilitator, whether it has really been in many sense instigator of some of the problems we are dealing with in our neighbourhood and beyond," Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla told reporters after the Quad Summit and also a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington.
"Both in bilateral discussions and in Quad summit, there was a clear sense that more careful look, examination and monitoring Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and Pakistan's role on the issue of terrorism had to be kept," he said, answering questions.
The first in-person Summit was hosted by Biden and attended by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison of Australia and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.
Shringla further said it has also been appreciated that "whether it is Quad or other partners" had to keep track of that factor (Pakistani role). "This is an important factor that sometimes gets overlooked when you see Pakistan projecting itself as a facilitator whether it has really been in many sense instigator of some problems we are dealing with in our neighbourhood and beyond," the Foreign Secretary said.
"Clear concern was expressed on Pakistan's role in Afghanistan and continuing support for approaches that didn't seem to be conducive," he said.
At the Quad Summit, PM Modi proposed a common international travelling protocol involving mutual recognition of the COVID-19 (vaccination) certificate. "It was well-received by all Quad leaders." He further said the Prime Minister invited President Biden to visit India, to which Mr Biden noted with thanks and appreciation. India will certainly "look forward to the visit" of the US President at the earliest, and at mutual convenience, the Foreign Secretary said.
There was also an appreciation of India's presidency of the UN Security Council in August, especially on the Afghanistan issue. President Biden was very specific in stating that he felt India should have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, said Mr Shringla.
Importance of Gandhian philosophy:
At the bilateral meeting with President Biden, Mr Modi said: "You mentioned, there are more than four million Indian Americans who are participating in the journey of progress of America. When I look at the importance of this decade, and the role that is going to be played by this talent of the Indian Americans, I find that the people-to-people talent will play a greater role."
Both the leaders mentioned 'Gandhi Jayanti' that comes up next week. "As the world celebrates Mahatma Gandhi's birthday next week, we're all reminded that his message of nonviolence, respect, tolerance matters today, maybe more than it ever has," Biden said.
Mr Modi said: "Mahatma Gandhi always used to talk about the principle of trusteeship, trusteeship of the planet. It means that the planet that we have, we have to bequeath it to the following generations, and this sentiment of trusteeship is going to assume more and more importance globally,".
"The responsibility of global citizens is only going to go up," the Prime Minister said.