Hopeful China would agree on Masood Azhar issue: Rajnath Singh
Interacting with the media here [New Delhi], Singh said, "We still expect China to support our stand."
India is looking increasingly pathetic, hoping after hope that China would relent.
At the end of Ms. Swaraj's visit to China in Feb 2015, we expressed optimism. Then, the Chinese put a technical hold in April that year on our request to list Hizbul Mujahideen chief and head of the ‘United Jihad Council’, Syed Salahuddin, under 1267. Then, in June 2015 at India’s request demanding action against the release of the 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi by the Pakistani courts, was blocked by China citing insufficient information.
The Indian Prime Minister spoke to his Chinese counterpart after that and the Indian Foreign Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj also took up the matter with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. Within a few days, China again stood by Pakistan at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meet at Brisbane where New Delhi had strongly raised non-compliance by Islamabad on freezing assets of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.
In Ufa (Russia) where Prime Minister Modi met the Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 8, 2015, he raised the Lakhvi issue and spoke very candidly about India’s concern. In November 2015, during the Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh’s state visit to China, the issue was taken up once again and Rajnath Singh expressed optimism. The Indian Ambassador also said “We have agreed to work towards a new bilateral agreement which will provide contours of cooperation in counter-terrorism, security, and related trans-border crimes,” All this optimism came to a nought within five months after the cross-border attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists on the Pathankot Air Force base (PAFB). In late January, 2016, armed with its investigation, India approached the UNSC Sanctions Committee 1267 yet again to sanction JeM Emir Maulana Masood Azhar. On April 1, 2016, just two hours before deadline, China placed a ‘technical hold’ on the Indian request citing insufficient information and after consulting Pakistan.
Reacting to the news, Modi seated to the left of the American President Barack Obama with the Chinese President Xi Jinping seated to Obama’s right in the Nuclear Security Summit at Washington said, “The reach and supply chains of terrorism are global; but genuine cooperation between nation states is not”.
There were a series of high-level meetings coincidentally between Indian and Chinese leaders in the third week of April 2016 and the Maulana Masood Azhar’s case in the UN was taken up forcefully by the Indian side. First, it was the April 18 meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the RIC meeting in Moscow, "I told him (Wang) that if we were to fulfil our intention of fighting terrorism together, then China should review the stand it had taken at the UN 1267 Committee," Swaraj told a joint press conference.
On the same day, the visiting Indian Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar met his Chinese counterpart Gen. Chang Wanquan in Beijing. On China’s role in blocking U.N. sanctions on Masood Azhar, Mr. Parrikar said that he “expressed his feeling [that] it was not exactly the right direction that they [the Chinese side] have taken.” Reacting to these, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi said, “China is against all forms of terrorism. We have put a technical hold, not a veto. It is not an issue between China and India. We would prefer that you talk to Pakistan.”
The next day, the Indian NSA Ajit Doval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi for the 19th round of border talks and the Masood Azhar issue figured prominently there.
Again, a few hours before the ‘technical hold’ was to expire on October 1, 2016, China decided to extend the ‘technical hold’ once again. This also prevented India from placing further facts before the 1267 Committee. China defended its last-minute ‘technical hold’ by saying there were “different views” on India’s application and that Beijing’s move will allow more time for the “relevant parties” to have consultations.
In the Goa BRICS summit in October 2016, China prevented India from including in the joint statement any reference to terror organizations like LeT or JeM, though both are sanctioned by the UNSC including China, but allowed only the mention of the IS and Jabhat-al-Nusra. During the Leaders’ Restricted Meeting, the Indian PM, Modi, had referred to Pakistan when he said, “Tragically, the mother-ship of terrorism is a country in India's neighbourhood.”. The next day, answering a question on the issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman strongly defended Pakistan saying, “We oppose linking terrorism with any specific ethnicity or religion. This is our long-standing position. China and Pakistan are all-weather friends. Both India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Islamabad has made great sacrifice to combat terrorism and this needs to be recognised by the international community”.
Finally, on December 30, 2016, the last day when the technical hold on the Masood Azhar issue was about to lapse, China totally blocked it necessitating India to move a totally fresh application.
On January 3, 2017, Rajnath Singh voices 'optimism' that China would see light !!