1. Why China backs Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN

Why China backs Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN

China is walking a dangerous path. While Beijing doesn't tolerate terror groups on its own territory, it appears happy letting others, who attack India from Pakistan, survive and prosper.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: November 3, 2017 12:38 PM
china, masood azhar, china terrorism, unsc, pakistan terrorism, pakistan, china pakistan, china masood azhar. china on masood azhar Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar. (Reuters)

At a time when a consensus against terrorism of all kinds is emerging across the world, China is walking a dangerous path. While Beijing doesn’t tolerate terror groups on its own territory, it appears happy letting others, who attack India from Pakistan, survive and prosper. The best example of this is Chinese block of an India-led move to declare JeM chief and Pathankot blast mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC. Masood Azhar was also responsible for the attack on Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001.

On Thursday, China once again blocked the bid by India, the US and other nations to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. Beijing cited “there is no consensus” within the members of the sanctions committee. This was not the first time when China has blocked India’s move to impose a ban on Masood Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

Masood Azhar’s JeM is already in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits but China is not yet ready to declare its founder Azhar as a global terrorist. Last year, China was the only country out of the 15-member UNSC to have blocked India’s application to ban Masood Azhar.
China’s latest act in support of Masood Azhar is surprising as recently during the BRICS summit, Beijing had signed the declaration condemning terror groups, including those operating from Pakistan.

BRICS declaration

We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir.”

China’s strong support to the Pakistani terrorist at the shown clearly shows he is important for Beijing’s power politics designs. And there could be several reasons for this:

China and Pakistan are strong and old allies and the former wants to keep Islamabad happy. islamabad has backed China in groups like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement, where China has no representation. It has been reported earlier that Islamabad shielded China in the OIC over the latter’s crackdowns on Muslim Uighur community in Xinjiang province. Pakistan has also blocked any criticism of China at NAM meetings over the latter’s claims in the South China Sea.

Beijing sees India as a competitor and Pakistan as a means to counter New Delhi’s rise. By supporting Azhar, China clearly wants New Delhi to remain engaged issues of the neighbourhood and not look beyond.

China also sees India’s growing closeness to the US as a challenge. Beijing has not only blocked move on Azhar but also prevented India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the UNSC.

Beijing has pledged to invest $52 billion in the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will connect Xinjiang region of China to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar.CPEC is the flagship project of China’s OBOR (One Belt, One Road) initiative.

China is also not happy with India sheltering Tibetan Guru Dalai Lama. Beijing considers him as threat and a separatist. Dalai Lama had fled to India in 1959, nine years after Chinese troops occupied Tibet.

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