China, the biggest strategic partner of Pakistan, has firmly stood with Islamabad over the years, even at multilateral forums.
Pakistan on Monday suffered a massive blow after its all-weather ally, China, joined other BRICS nations in adopting the BRICS declaration against a number of terror groups operating from Pakistani soil. Chinese President Xi Jinping joined PM Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michael Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma in strongly denouncing terror activities of such groups, as they upped the ante against terrorism and expressed determination to collectively fight against the scourge.
But how is that a blow to Islamabad? China, the biggest strategic partner of Pakistan, has firmly stood with Islamabad over the years, even at multilateral forums. The same China, during the last BRICS Summit in Goa, did not allow the inclusion of Pakistan-based terror groups in the declaration, despite the fact that the Summit was taking place in the backdrop of Uri terror strike carried out by a Pakistan-based terror group.
However, China’s gesture on Monday apparently signalled a big shift in Beijing’s earlier stand on terror groups operating from Pakistani territory. One may well argue that China just echoed a formal declaration here, but the fact that it deals major embarrasment to Islamabad can’t be ignored. Beijing even issued a statement after adopting the declaration, sticking to the stance and said the three groups – Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network – have been included in the BRICS joint declaration due to concerns about their violent activities in the region.
The BRICS declaration and the following statements by China, however, raise questions over its earlier stance. Ahead of the BRICS Summit, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had said, “We noticed that India, when it comes to Pakistan’s counter-terrorism, has some concerns. I don’t think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at the BRICS Summit.”
Now, it remains to be seen, whether China will agree to India’s long-standing demand to get JeM chief Masood Azhar declared as a UN-disgnated global terrorist.
Pakistan doesn’t consider these groups as terror organisations operating from its territory.