Action in Xinjiang, silent on Azhar: Chinese double standards on terror are just like Pakistan

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New Delhi | Updated: February 22, 2017 12:35 PM

China continues to protect terrorist Masood Azhar and at the same time the country is fighting against terror in Xinjiang province.

china, india, s jaishankar, masood azhar, jaish e mohammad, jem, china india, india china, china azhar, azhar china, china pakistan, pakistan china, india pakistan, china us, us china, pakistan india, terrorism, good terrorist bad terrorist, pathankot attack, parliament attackChina’s President Xi Jinping. The country has blocked India’s move to declare Masood Azhar a UN-designated terrorist. (Reuters)

China’s double standards on terrorism are just like Pakistan. On the one hand, the country continues to block India’s bid to get Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar declared as a UN-designated terrorist, on the other hand, it is using its military might to control terror elements in its own province, Xinjiang. Not only India’s, China even thwarted a US-backed move to declare Azhar a UN-designated terrorist recently.

Clarifying its decision to thwart the US move on Azhar, China had said it needed “solid evidence” on Azhar to support India’s demand. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said, “China upheld the principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism and was prepared to take part in relevant discussion.” Geng said that China’s position on the ban against Azhar remained constant irrespective of India’s application last year. He added, “China’s only criteria were that it needed solid evidence against Azhar. If there is solid evidence the application can be approved. If there is no solid evidence there is hardly a consensus.”

China’s claim that there is no solid evidence against Azhhar is beyond belief. Azhar leads JeM. While JeM is already a UN-declared terrorist organisation, Azhar is yet to be declared a terrorist by the world body. JeM has launched a series of terror attacks in India, including the 2001 Parliament attack and the Pathankot attack in 2015. The JeM terrorists are also believed to have killed US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

It is apparent that China’s reluctance to accept India’s demand on Azhar is deliberate. First, to appease Pakistan as in past, resolutions against Azhar were moved by India. Second, the recent resolution was moved by the US and backed by Britain and France. By blocking it, China took affront to the new US administration led by President Donald Trump, who has voiced several anti-China concerns.

The irony, however, is that while China wants terrorists like Azhar to continue bleeding India, it is fighting against terrorism on its own land in Xinjiang province. Last week, Chinese forces staged a massive anti-terror rally in the western region of Xinjiang. Hundreds of armed men were paraded through the streets of the regional capital Urumqi. In the past few years, hundreds of people have died in Xinjiang due to unrest between the Muslim Uighur people, who call the region home, and the ethnic majority Han Chinese. China has always blamed that Islamist militants are behind the unrest.

Not only this, China on Tuesday made it mandatory for all vehicles to install Beidou Navigation Satellite System, which is similar to the GPS, in Bayingol Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. “Cars are the major means of transportation for terrorists, and also a frequently chosen tool to conduct terrorist attacks. So it’s necessary to use the Beidou system and electronic vehicle identification to enhance the management of vehicles,” a statement by Bayingol’s traffic police detachment said.

By supporting Azhar and fighting terrorists on its own land, China is doing the same blunder Pakistan did decades ago by distinguishing between good and bad terrorists. It used “good” terrorists against India and focused its so- called “war on terror” against “bad” terrorists who continue to carry out attacks across Pakistan.

(With agency inputs)

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