Pranab asks Xi to stop shielding JeM chief

Beijing told to stop India's entry into NSG

Pranab asks Xi to stop shielding  JeM chief
President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday nudged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to stop shielding Masood Azhar and other terrorists based in Pakistan from sanctions by the United Nations.

Mukherjee also tacitly asked Xi to change Beijing’s policy of opposing New Delhi’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group. He sought “personal attention” of the Chinese president to creating a “more predictable environment” in global nuclear commerce to help New Delhi pursue its atomic energy programme.

The meeting between the two presidents saw China and India agreeing for closer cooperation against terrorism at the United Nations, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said. They also agreed to continue discussion to resolve differences on New Delhi’s bid for a berth in the NSG, added Jaishankar.

Mukherjee’s four-day visit to Guangzhou and Beijing came at a time when China’s moves to block India’s plea for UN sanctions on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and to oppose its bid to enter the NSG came up as new irritants in bilateral ties.

As he met the Chinese president at the Great Hall of People after being accorded a ceremonial reception on Thursday, Mukherjee brought up both the issues – albeit tacitly. He also had brief separate meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and chairman of National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang.

He conveyed New Delhi’s concerns on cross-border terrorism without directly referring to terror attacks launched from territories in Pakistan targeting India. “There is no good or bad terrorist,” Jaishankar quoted president telling his Chinese counterpart as he stressed that all nations should comprehensively fight the menace. Mukherjee also emphasised on closer cooperation between India and China against terrorism at the UN. His comment was ostensibly a subtle nudge to Xi to change Beijing’s policy of opposing New Delhi’s move to designate Pakistan-based Azhar or Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi of Lashkar-e-Taiba as associates of Al Qaeda, Taliban and Islamic State and impose UN sanctions on them.

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