China has again thrown its weight behind Pakistan-backed terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.
Beijing has defended its second technical hold to prevent a United Nations ban on Azhar saying there were “different views” on India’s application and that Beijing’s move will allow more time for the “relevant parties” to have consultations.
However, China’s excuse will not hold any value since it is the lone member among the 15-member UNSC to oppose the ban on Azhar.
“There are still different views on India’s listing application made this March. The technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
The explanation does not mention which countries would want to discuss what aspects of the Indian bid to have Azhar named a global terrorist.
The reference to “further consultations” apparently referred to direct consultations between India and Pakistan over the issue.
Six months back too, China relied on technicalities to block India’s move.
China had extended the second technical hold valid for three months despite several consultations between New Delhi and Beijing at various levels.
The issue will against come up during a meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit to be held in Goa from October 15-16.
While opposing the ban against Azhar, the Chinese Foreign Ministry however said “China firmly supports combating all forms of terrorism, stronger international cooperation against terrorism, and supports the central and coordinating role of the UN in international counter-terrorism cooperation”.
Diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan have been rising after the September 18 terror attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers.
China has expressed its concerns over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Besides a host of energy-related projects, the CPEC consists of rail, road and pipelines to ferry oil and gas from Balochistan port Gwadar to Kashghar in Xinjiang through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).