China Set To Block Masood Azhar Ban Defying US, India
Indian Defence News: The proposal, which had the backing of UK and France too, was introduced by the US in January this year. It was put on a technical hold by China which is set to expire this week on Thursday.
BEIJING: In what could plunge India-China ties into fresh turmoil, China is likely to officially block and thereby terminate a US-backed proposal to get Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar+ designated a global terrorist by the UN.
The proposal, which had the backing of UK and France too, was introduced by the US+ in January this year and, days later, put on a technical hold by China which, as a permanent UNSC member, wields veto power.
The technical hold was extended by Beijing for another 3 months in August and is set to expire this week on Thursday. Since it can’t be extended any further, as top intelligence sources closely watching the development said, China is moving to introduce a “full-fledged block” to dispose of the US proposal.
China’s selective approach to fight against terrorism, made manifest by its position on Azhar who is seen as a strategic asset by Pakistan authorities, has turned into a major foreign policy challenge for India. This development belies all hopes of a Chinese review of its stand on Azhar in the light of Beijing’s decision to allow India to name Pakistan based terror groups like JeM and Lashkar in the Xiamen BRICS Declaration. Brics followed the August 28 Doklam military stand-off disengagement which, as the government has repeatedly said, still stands despite reports of a Chinese troop build-up “well within China” but not very far from the Doklam plateau.
India has repeatedly conveyed to China that Azhar has been indicted by Indian agencies for his involvement in the Pathankot airbase attack case and that he continues to head a terror group already proscribed by the UN. China continues to insist though that there isn’t enough “solid evidence” against him.
The fact that China has effectively ruled out any cooperation with India on the issue of cross-border terrorism is as much a setback for the US as it is in New Delhi. When PM Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump in Washington this year, the 2 leaders had welcomed a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designation listing proposals.
The same again came up during Secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s visit to India this week and Tillerson agreed that the 2 countries needed to have a dialogue soon on the terrorist designation. Sources said this dialogue will likely take place anytime in the next few months with the focus on getting Azhar listed by the UNSC sanctions committee.
News Source: TOI