NEW DELHI: A major focus for the Indian media vis a vis Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates has been the Indian PM’s veiled but unmistakable references to Pakistan. Addressing a large crowd of 50,000 Indians in Dubai, PM Modi said: “Those who support terrorism must be on one side and those who believe in humanity on the other… Those who take the path of bombs and guns to fulfill their dreams won’t achieve anything.”

The fact that this statement refers to Pakistan is evident, as New Delhi has long blamed the neighbouring country for harbouring terrorists and adopting double standards toward terrorism where it aids and trains militants who launch attacks against India, whilst only fighting militants who threaten Pakistan’s internal security.

Terrorism also featured heavily in the joint statement signed between India and the UAE. The two nations said that they “condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries” and asked all nations to “dismantle terrorism infrastructure where they exist and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.” The media of course linked this to Pakistan in reports seemingly sourced by official briefings.

While bringing up Pakistan and terrorism is rhetoric that India has employed effectively on various international platforms, it takes on an added meaning in the UAE given recent context. Pakistan was recently in a tough spot over Saudi Arabian airstrikes on Yemen, with Pakistan walking a tightrope between a Saudi request to join the strikes and the costs of involvement. Eventually, in April this year, the Pakistani Parliament voted in favour of a resolution affirming the country’s “neutrality” on the conflict in Yemen.

The call for neutrality had its own complications as it evoked a sharp reaction from Saudi allies, with the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs warning Pakistan that it would pay a “high price” for its “ambiguous stand”. “The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan and Turkey are an absolute proof that Arab security — from Libya to Yemen — is the responsibility of none but Arab countries,” Minister Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash said at the time.

Given this context, the joint statement produced by India and the UAE, highlights cooperation between the two countries with terrorism featuring receiving the focus.

The statement is reproduced in full below:

I. Elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

II. Coordinate efforts to counter radicalization and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred, perpetrating and justifying terrorism or pursuing political aims. The two sides will facilitate regular exchanges of religious scholars and intellectuals and organise conferences and seminars to promote the values of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and welfare that is inherent in all religions.

III. Denounce and oppose terrorism in all forms and manifestations, wherever committed and by whomever, calling on all states to reject and abandon the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they exist, and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

IV. Enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity building.

V. Work together for the adoption of India’s proposed Comprehensive convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.

VI. Work together to control, regulate and share information on flow of funds that could have a bearing on radicalization activities and cooperate in interdicting illegal flows and take action against concerned individuals and organizations.

VII. Strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug trafficking, other trans-national crimes, extradition arrangements, as well as police training.

VIII. Promote cooperation in cyber security, including prevention on use of cyber for terrorism, radicalization and disturbing social harmony.

IX. Establish a dialogue between their National Security Advisors and National Security Councils. The National Security Advisors, together with other high level representatives for security from both nations, will meet every six months. The two sides will also establish points of contact between their security agencies to further improve operational cooperation.

X. Cooperate to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean region, which is vital for the security and prosperity of both countries.

XI. Promote collaboration and inter-operability for humanitarian assistance and evacuation in natural disasters and conflict situations.

XII. Strengthen defence relations, including through regular exercises and training of naval, air, land and Special Forces, and in coastal defence. India warmly welcomed UAE’s decision to participate in International Fleet Review in India in February 2016.

XIII. Cooperate in manufacture of defence equipment in India.

XIV. Work together to promote peace, reconciliation, stability, inclusiveness and cooperation in the wider South Asia, Gulf and West Asia region.

XV. Support efforts for peaceful resolution of conflicts and promote adherence to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the conduct of relations between nations and settlement of disputes.

XVI. Call on all nations to fully respect and sincerely implement their commitments to resolve disputes bilaterally and peacefully, without resorting to violence and terrorism.

XVII. Establish a Strategic Security Dialogue between the two governments.

XVIII. Recognising that India is emerging as the new frontier of investment opportunities, especially with the new initiatives by the Government to facilitate trade and investment, encourage the investment institutions of UAE to raise their investments in India, including through the establishment of UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, with the aim of reaching a target of USD 75 billion to support investment in India’s plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure, especially in railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors and parks.

XIX. Facilitate participation of Indian companies in infrastructure development in UAE.

XX. Promote strategic partnership in the energy sector, including through UAE’s participation in India in the development of strategic petroleum reserves, upstream and downstream petroleum sectors, and collaboration in third countries.

XXI. Further promote trade between the two countries, and use their respective locations and infrastructure for expanding trade in the region and beyond; and, with the target of increasing trade by 60% in the next five years.

XXII. Tap India’s expertise in Small and Medium Enterprises to create a vibrant industrial base in UAE, which could also be of benefit to Indian enterprises.

XXIII. Strengthen cooperation between UAE’s increasingly sophisticated educational institutions and India’s universities and higher research institutions. Promote scientific collaboration, including in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable development, arid agriculture, desert ecology, urban development and advanced healthcare.

XXIV. Promote cooperation in Space, including in joint development and launch of satellites, ground-based infrastructure and space application. Prime Minister Modi welcomed UAE’s plan to set up the West Asia’s first Space Research Centre at AI Ain and plans to launch a Mars Mission in 2021.

XXV. Cooperate in peaceful uses of nuclear energy including in areas like safety, health, agriculture and science and technology.

XXVI. The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an occasion to press for early reforms of the United Nations, and that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on the reforms of the UN Security Council should be concluded expeditiously. Prime Minister thanked UAE for its support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council.

XXVII. The finalization of the post-2015 Development Agenda with elimination of poverty by 2030 as its core objective was a welcome development.

XXVIII. The International Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015 should produce an effective agreement, which includes provision of means and technologies to developing countries to transition to clean energy.

XXIX. The overwhelming global response to the International Day of Yoga was a reflection of global community’s ability to come together to seek a peaceful, more balanced, healthier and sustainable future for the world. Prime Minister thanked UAE for its strong support to the International Day of Yoga on June 21 this year.

XXX. India and UAE were shining examples of open and multicultural societies, which should work together to promote these values for a peaceful and inclusive global community. India and UAE will also enhance cultural and sports exchanges in each other’s countries.

XXXI. People-to-people were at the heart of India-UAE relations and both governments will continue to nurture these relations and ensure the welfare of their citizens, especially the workers, in each other’s country, as also work together to prevent human trafficking.