India has taken up at a “fairly high level” with China the issue of Beijing blocking its bid to have JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN but the issue will not “overflow” into other areas of bilateral ties, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said today.
Asserting that India will continue to pursue the matter with China in the context of the UN, he also noted that the government has had a “backing and forthing” on the issue with the Chinese.
However, China’s action to block Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar at the UN was strongly justified by a top Chinese official that his government has asked for more “evidence” and “arguments” by India as China can’t be the judge to decide who is right and who is wrong.
During an interaction, Jaishankar, when asked about India’s position on the Chinese action at the UN, said, “My sense is that the particular issue that you referred to is something we have taken up with the Chinese. We have taken it up at a sort of fairly high level and we will continue to pursue this with the Chinese.”
He added “This is an issue to be pursued with the Chinese in a UN context. I would not like to give the impression that somehow this is going to overflow into other areas. We have had a backing and forthing with them on this issue. We have to wait and see where this goes.”
Later at a separate event, Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister at the Chinese Embassy here also asserted that listing of anyone as a terrorist by the UN is a “very serious issue”.
“Pakistan says India’s position is not good for them, it is against Pakistan. But India (says its) position is its national interest. (Then) do that.
“China can’t be the judge (to decide) who is right, who is wrong. With Pakistan, we are good friends. With India, we are also good friends. We asked for some more evidence, we asked for some argument…We can’t stick to one side. We can’t veto, we can’t (remain) absent. Only thing we can do is (to put it on a) technical hold,” Liu said when asked about the issue.
Last week, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council.
This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.
The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts for slapping sanctions on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow it apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.
Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness” with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.