China protects Jaish leader for the 4th time in UN

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SRINAGAR: Within a fortnight after France initiated and USA backed resolution was moved before the United Nations Security Council to declare Jaish-e-Muhammad founder Moulana Masood Azhar as the “global terrorist”, China has vetoed it, again. This is fourth such attempt by China in a decade, media reports suggest

Masood Azhar

Azhar’s outfit has staked the claim for the Lethpora car bomb explosion in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed on February 14. The attack brought India and Pakistan closer to war and they hit each other’s targets using air force.

The veto came on Wednesday hours before France initiated proposal was to be “ratified by the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council”.

France had initiated the proposal after the Lethpora bombing. This is the fourth such attempt since 2009, according to media reports.

China has issued a statement to the United Nations Security Council, maintaining that it “needed more time” to examine the proposed sanctions against Azhar.

“We are disappointed by this outcome,” an external affairs ministry spokesman has said. “This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a prescribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019.”

One report said that everybody in the 15-member body was supportive of the proposal but China took the veto route and blocked the move. The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. Just before the deadline ended, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal seeking “more time to examine” it.

A day after the veto, China has started explaining the move. “China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry was quoted saying. “It would help the parties concerned to engage in more talks to find a “lasting solution” acceptable to all.”

Lu Kang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has said the decision was in line with the rules of the committee.

“China sincerely hopes that relevant action taken by this committee will help relevant countries to engage in dialogue and consultation and prevent adding more complicated factors into regional peace and stability,” Kang was quoted saying. “As to the technical hold at the 1267 Committee, our action is to make sure that the committee will have enough time to study the matter so that the relevant sides will have time for dialogue and consultation.”

He added: “Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue. China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue.”

Reports have asked the spokesperson about the Beijing stand on Kashmir and he has reiterated what he has said earlier: “This is an issue that is left over between India and Pakistan. We hope that the two sides will engage in friendly dialogue consultation and solve this issue and other related issues.”

The External Affairs Ministry in Delhi has said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice.

The Chinese veto at UN Security Council has instantly become an election issue in India. Congress leader Rahul Gandi took to Twitter and attack Modi. “Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India,” Rahul wrote. “NoMo’s China Diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat 2. Hug Xi in Delhi 3. Bow to Xi in China”.

BJP reacted almost in the same fashion. “China wouldn’t be in UNSC had your great grandfather not ‘gifted’ it to them at India’s cost,” BJP reacted on Twitter. “India is undoing all mistakes of your family. Be assured that India will win the fight against terror. Leave it to PM Modi while you keep cosying up with the Chinese envoys secretly.”

Interestingly, NC leader Omar Abdullah got also involved in the virtual war over China. “PM Modi surrendered to China on Azhar and surrendered to Pakistan & its proxies by delaying elections in J&K. How can the BJP claim to have been tough on internal security and tough against terror?,” Omar wrote on Twitter. He reacted to Ravi Shakar Prasad’s tweet: “Mantri jee, your Government gave Pakistan a small victory when you postponed the Anantnag by-poll in 2017 and a big victory now that you’ve failed to conduct assembly elections. If anyone is giving Pakistan a reason to celebrate it isn’t  @RahulGandhi. Look closer to home sir.”

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