Burden of proof against Azhar not on us, India tells China

SansadTV Bureau
Foreign Secretary Dr. S Jaishankar and Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui co-chair the India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing.

Foreign Secretary Dr. S Jaishankar and Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui co-chair the India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing.

During the strategic dialogue in Beijing, India strictly conveyed to China, that the “burden of proof” of proving Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s terror actions does not lie with India. India also reasoned that Azhar’s actions were “well-documented”.

India raised the Masood Azhar matter during the dialogue because China has blocked every attempt of getting Azhar on the UN sanctions list. Twice China blocked the attempt while demanding “solid evidence” against Azhar.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar who is heading the dialogue from the India side, said the talks were “useful” in conveying India’s concerns and priorities on key issues.

“On the issue of 1267 Committee’s sanctions on Masood Azhar, we again explained the rationale for that application and pointed out that this was really pursued by other countries, not by India alone,” Jaishankar said, referring to the US’ application backed by the UK and France this year to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

On the Chinese Foreign Ministry calling for “solid evidence” to get Azhar banned, Jaishankar said, “in the case of Azhar, Jaish itself is proscribed under 1267. So the proof is in (the) 1267 Committee action. In this case what he has done, extent of his actions are well-documented.”

“Also the proposal in question this time is not moved by us. It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The sponsors seem to be very well convinced, otherwise they would not have taken the initiative to move the proposal,” Jaishankar added.

About China saying that there is no consensus on the issue, the Foreign Secretary said, “there is no consensus because China has not joined it”.

India China strategic dialogueSince the 1267 Committee proceedings are not public, he said, “Our understanding is that there is overwhelming support in the 1267 (Committee). This (is) what we are told”.

India also raised the issue of China blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

“On the NSG issue, (the) Chinese side underlined that they are open to India’s application for membership. They have their view of procedures and processes. These were different from where we are at the moment and most of the group is at the moment,” he said, referring to the wide support India’s application enjoyed in the 48-member elite grouping which controls global nuclear commerce.

Besides holding talks with China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi yesterday, Jaishankar met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi this morning before co-chairing the strategic dialogue with Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui.

This is the first time China has fielded an executive Vice Minister who is also the head of the Foreign Ministry unit of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

(With inputs from agencies)