After sending a strong message to Pakistan on countering terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to take up the issue of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar with China. At the BRICS Summit in Goa next weekend, PM Modi is expected to reach out to Chinese President Xi Jinping, reminding the latter of China’s “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism. According to an Indian Express report, the Prime Minister is willing to share additional information with Xi to stress on the urgency of getting UN to ban terrorist Masood Azhar. Modi will meet Xi on October 15-16 on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit.
Indian Express reported a top government official as saying, “The government wants that the listing should happen in January, once the technical hold for another three months expires. Let’s see what the Chinese leader says.” Some groundwork on the issue has already been done during the meeting between Nastional Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo. China recently put a technical hold for the fifth time Azar’s listing under the UN 1267 sanctions committee list. China’s technical hold, put on March 31, had lapsed Monday, and had China not raised any further objection, the resolution to designate Azhar as a terrorist would have been passed automatically.
MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday took a veiled dig at China, saying that only one country in UNSC is blocking India’s bid to get Masood Azhar listed as a banned terrorist. Without naming China, Swarup said only one country had put the technical hold, blocking the ban by another three months, and criticised the complete “non-transparent and anonymous” manner of designating individuals by the UN Sanctions Committee. Swarup said that the UN will send a “dangerous message” if it fails to act on India’s demand.
“We conveyed to the Committee that it is expected to proscribe Azhar under the 1267 Sanction Regime on the basis of our submission. Such a designation would help send a strong signal to all terror groups across the world that the international community is no longer going to pursue, or tolerate, selective approaches to terrorism,” Swarup said. “The Committee has already pondered (over) our submission for the last six months. It will get a further three months to ponder, but that will in no way change the strange situation we have of the Committee designating the terror organisation but failing to or ignoring the need to designate the organisation’s most active and dangerous terrorist,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)