Masood Azhar UNSC resolution: India used the February 21 UNSC statement to back its argument as it had mentioned JeM. Meanwhile, conversations through various diplomatic channels were on and New Delhi got the hint that China may cave in.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind behind Pulwama attack, has been listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations. United Nations Security Council has also cited his association with dreaded terror groups like Al-Qaeda and JeM. While countries like the US and France have welcomed the move, China, the main roadblock till now, has chosen to react cautiously. Beijing has said it did not have an objection to the listing of Masood Azhar after going through the revised materials. The UN has also stated that it was a positive sign that all member states of the security council agreed on the resolution, according to reports. This is by far one of India’s most satisfying diplomatic victory as China finally relented after posing stiff resistance for the last decade.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin, who saw Chinese resistance over Azhar issue in 2016 and 2017, was basking in the glory after the successful result. While talking to IE, Akbaruddin said he was a believer in MS Dhoni’s style of never saying that time is up and never giving up. Here’s how India managed to win the diplomatic battle:
Azhar’s listing at the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 sanctions committee showed that India got tremendous backing from three heavyweight nations – the US, the UK, France. For the last 10 years (post 26/11 Mumbai attacks), China kept blocking India’s effort to enlist Masood Azhar.
However, the ghastly attack on CRPF convoy on February 14 proved to be a watershed moment as UNSC issued a statement on February 21 condemning the terror activity. This was unprecedented as UNSC in a historic first issued such statement on the terror attack on security personnel in Kashmir.
On February 27, three permanent UNSC members – the US, France and the UK – moved a proposal to list Azhar. These three countries tried the same path in 2017 but in futile all due to the adamant all weather ally of Pakistan – China. However, this time India got the support from Australia, Japan, Canada and other African and European nations also.
However, China again on March 13, put a technical hold for six months. But New Delhi chose to be tactical and used measured diplomatic approach to persuadeChina. India, it appears, followed the tortoise approach – slow but steady – a ploy which eventually paid rich dividends.
India used the February 21 UNSC statement to back its argument as it had mentioned JeM. Meanwhile, conversations through various diplomatic channels were on and New Delhi got the hint that China may cave in.
The White House decided to push the throttle forward by end of March instead of waiting till the end of another six months, according to an IE report. The US informed UNSC that it would move a fresh resolution in which the UK and France were an integral part. The discussion took place and subsequently the public vote was to happen. The US’ logic was that the move would push China to defend its veto and indirectly talk in favour of dreaded terrorist on an international platform.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Beijing, Washington and Moscow and stepped up the diplomacy. China wanted to avoid public discussion and weighed the pros and cons.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent to visit Beijing was also key as the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping served the perfect platform to finalise the stage. China by relenting on Azhar issue managed to remove one contentious issue with among several others like UNSC membership, NSG membership, trade deficit and territorial dispute.
In this diplomatic matchup, India indeed finished off in style like Mahi did in 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup!