India asks China to change stance on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
New Delhi: Upset over China blocking the US move against Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar, India has issued a demarche to China on the issue. The matter was taken up by the MEA with the Chinese ambassador in New Delhi and the Indian envoy in Beijing has also raised the matter with the Chinese foreign ministry, sources said.
New Delhi on Thursday also hit out at China for its remarks that there was no consensus over the US’ proposal to ban Pathankot attack mastermind and JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UN, saying if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be a consensus as well. As many as 14 out of 15 nations are backing the move to ban Azhar, with just the Chinese veto obstructing it. All 15 nations on the committee are members of the UN Security Council where China, as a permanent member, has the veto power.
“Let us first get our facts clear. This proposal was not moved by India but by three permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, UK and France. It is our understanding that this was a classic counter-terrorism proposal meant to proscribe a dreaded terrorist leader Masood Azhar whose organisation, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, has already been proscribed by the UN 1267 Committee. We don’t view this as a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan but as an issue of global counter terrorism. We hope that eventually China will also come around to accepting this view. Obviously, if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be consensus as well,” the MEA said on Thursday.
Highlighting India’s new strategy, the US — under the Trump administration — had recently moved the UN to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist but it was swiftly stymied by China which has again opposed the ban. New Delhi’s efforts earlier to move the proposal was blocked by Beijing.
The US, along with France and Britain, had earlier been co-sponsors of the Indian move but after Beijing had blocked the Indian move in December-end, India had held consultations in January this year with the US, UK and France to evolve a new strategy.
It seems to have been decided then that the US would move the proposal instead of India, highlighting the new-found strength of Indo-US ties. The Trump administration’s resolve to go after radical organisations has further aided New Delhi, but Beijing remains a firm backer of Islamabad due to its interests arising from huge Chinese investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
India’s sharp reaction came a day after China defended its decision to block the US-initiated proposal in the UN for designating Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the “conditions” have not yet been met for Beijing to back the move. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang had also told a media briefing in Beijing that his government resorted to this move to allow the “relevant parties” to reach a consensus.
“We put out technical hold after we had several rounds of consultations with India. We hope relevant parties have enough time to consult with each other to make sure that the decision made by the Committee will be based on consensus representing the broad international community,” he said.
China had in December placed a “permanent block” on the Indian move in the UN to designate Azhar as a terrorist, after which India had lashed out, terming it “an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and (which) confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”. China had twice imposed a “technical” hold on the Indian proposal before going on to permanently block it on December 30.