India has taken up the issue of China blocking New Delhi’s efforts to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist at a “fairly high level” with Beijing, but will not let that impact other aspects of the bilateral relationship, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said Wednesday.
This comes amid reports that New Delhi would take retaliatory steps to hinder Chinese investors from coming to India.
Jaishankar, speaking at the launch of Carnegie India, articulated New Delhi’s position: “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 will continue to pursue this with the Chinese.” He was replying to a question during an interaction on India’s position on China blocking, for the second time, the country’s bid at the UN to get Azhar banned.
“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 back-and-forth with them on this issue. We have to wait and see where this goes,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Chinese diplomat said that designating any individual as terrorist by the UN is a “serious issue”, and that there was a need for more evidence from India for a better understanding to ban Azhar.
Liu Jinsong, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister at the Chinese Embassy, justified China’s action on India’s bid against the Pakistan-based terrorist, saying that his country cannot be the judge of who is right and who is wrong on the issue.
Liu said, “At the UN, this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss (the issue), we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries… Pakistan says India’s position is not good for them, it is against Pakistan. But India says its position is in its national interest. China can’t be the judge (of) who is right, who is wrong. With Pakistan, we are good friends. With India, we are also good friends… 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) technical hold.”
Last week, China stopped the UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council.