No contradiction in blocking resolution on Masood Azhar: China

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Islamabad | Published: November 16, 2017 10:31:04 PM

China has asserted that there is no contradiction in its policy to block India's bid to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying the BRICS declaration was against terror groups and not individuals, Pakistani media today reported.

China, BRICS, BRICS declaration, terror group, Masood Azhar, global terrorist, BRICS declaration against terror outfitsA veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to impose a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. (Image: Reuters)

China has asserted that there is no contradiction in its policy to block India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying the BRICS declaration was against terror groups and not individuals, Pakistani media today reported. A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to impose a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. The latest technical hold by China came on November 2 when it blocked another proposal by the US, France and the UK to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. Beijing had blocked such a move in February this year. Speaking to a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors in Beijing this week, Counselor and Asia Division Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chen Feng said vetoing a resolution against Azhar after the BRICS declaration against terror outfits did not reflect a contradiction in China’s policy as BRICS members have not entered into any such agreement. The Chinese move was not in contradiction with Chinese policy in the context of BRICS declaration against terrorism, Chen was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

Chen clarified that the BRICS summit discussed only banned organisations and not individuals, Pakistan Today reported. The BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – at a summit in China in September named, for the first time, Pakistan-based groups like the Lashkar-e- Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Haqqani network in a joint declaration condemning terror. In early November, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “we raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter.”

Defending the repeated technical holds, Hua said China’s actions are meant to ensure and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council. China in the past has also asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan to reach an understanding on Azhar’s listing. In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India to declare Azhar as a global terrorist. The senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official also briefed the Pakistani editors about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious project that is opposed by India as it is passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Chen said Beijing was trying to convince India that the multibillion dollar project is based on economic cooperation and that its main aim is to promote peace and prosperity in the region. “The CPEC is neither a way to achieve political aims nor to be used in regional conflicts. Basic aim of the economic plan is to expand the mutual relations. China wants to engage other countries in the economic corridor too,” Chen said. He said China had time and again clarified it to India that it had no hegemonic designs in the region.

“We rather view CPEC as a way of forming equal relationships with regional countries and to promote friendship and neighbourhood in the region,” he added. Feng clarified that China was not a party in the Kashmir dispute. “India’s accusation of Chinese occupation on any part of Kashmir is baseless. We have denied such claims in the past as well. Kashmir is a bone of contention between India and Pakistan, peaceful solution of which is the only way to regional peace and prosperity,” he was quoted as saying.

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