India has taken up at a “very high level” with China the issue of Beijing blocking its bid to have JeM chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as designated terrorist by the UN, 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.
“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 very high level and we will continue to pursue this with the Chinese,” Jaishankar said.
He was replying to a question during an interaction on India’s position on China blocking for the second time country’s bid at the UN to get Azhar banned.
At the same time, he indicated that the issue was not going affect India’s relationship with China in other areas.
“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,” he said.
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. Asked about the border issue with China, the Foreign Secretary said if capabilities are more “one sided”, there is a greater temptation to disturb the status quo.
“So to the extent capabilities are better balanced, the status quo is better preserved.
“Balancing capabilities on our end, certainly requires better infra, better equipment, better preparation… So I think that is very much the focus of what is today the policy within the government,” he said.
China, which claims Arunachal Pradesh is part of Southern Tibet, says that the border dispute is confined to 2,000 km mostly in the northeastern state.
However, India asserts that the dispute covers the western side of the border, spanning to about 4,000 km including Aksai Chin area in Ladakh occupied by China in the 1962 war.
About overall ties with China, the Foreign Secretary said the considerable potential of economic cooperation between the two countries is beginning to get unlocked.