Not striking deal with China to get Azhar banned: India

Not striking deal with China to get Azhar banned: India

This was the fourth time China blocked a move to bring the JeM chief under UN sanctions, ostensibly at the behest of “its all-weather friend” Pakistan.

India will not strike a deal with China to secure the communist country's support to impose United Nations sanctions on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.

Three days after China blocked the latest move to impose international sanctions on Azhar; India said that it was ready for “long haul” to get the Security Council designate Azhar as an “individual” linked to now-deceased Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sources in New Delhi said that it would not rest until it could bring him under full-spectrum UN sanctions – asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

New Delhi, however, made it clear that it would not go for any negotiation with Beijing or cut a deal with Chinese Government to secure its support for its future move to bring the JeM chief or any other terrorist leader under UN sanctions.

Sources said on Saturday that terrorism was an issue which was not negotiable for Government of India.

This was the fourth time China blocked a move to bring the JeM chief under UN sanctions, ostensibly at the behest of “its all-weather friend” Pakistan.

Azhar lives in Bahawalpur in Pakistan and his terror organization JeM has a number of terrorist camps across Pakistan.

China earlier blocked several attempts made not only by India, but also by US, UK and France at a committee of the UN Security Council to sanction other terrorist leaders based in Pakistan.

Beijing had in October 2018 tacitly conveyed to New Delhi that it might review its policy of shielding terrorists based in Pakistan from UN sanctions, if India addressed the “core concern” of China and imposed restrictions on the activities of Dalai Lama as well as the Tibetan Government-in-Exile located at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

Beijing calls Dalai Lama a “splitist” and has been accusing him in particular and the Tibetans living in exile in India in general of leading a secessionist movement to undermine China's sovereignty over Tibet.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had hosted China's Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi for bilateral talks in New Delhi on October 22 last. Singh had expressed concern over China's stand at the committee of the UN Security Council on the issue of sanctioning terrorists based in Pakistan. Zhao had responded by saying that Beijing would expect New Delhi to address its concern over continued activities of “Dalai Clique” – the term Chinese Government had been using to refer to Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetans – in India.

New Delhi, however, decided against a quid pro quo with Beijing.

The JeM claimed the responsibility of the February 14 terror attack on a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. Over 40 CRPF personnel was killed in the suicide bombing which was carried out by a JeM terrorist.

A few days after the attack; France, United Kingdom and United States – three of the five permanent members of the Security Council – initiated a fresh move at a committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to bring the JeM under international sanctions. Russia, another permanent member of the UNSC, also supported the move.

The initiative went on to secure support from 14 of the total 15 – five permanent and 10 non-permanent members at the Security Council. It was finally blocked by China – the fifth permanent member of the UNSC – on Wednesday.

Sources on Saturday said that New Delhi had provided enough evidence against Azhar and 14 of the 15 members of the Security Council had been convinced that he should be sanctioned and the only holdout had been China. They said that India was “cautiously” confident that the JeM chief would eventually get sanctioned by the UNSC committee as it had “a solid case” against him.