China had recently placed a “permanent block” on the Indian move in the UN to designate Azhar as a terrorist.
New Delhi: Picking up the pieces after China blocked its move to list Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist, India has initiated discussions and consultations with several member countries of the UN Security Council and is exploring various options on the issue.
India has opened consultations with the US, UK and France, which were the co-sponsors of the move in the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, sources confirmed.
Foreign policy observers feel the consultations are aimed at putting China on the mat although India appears in a fix on how to deal with the Chinese veto. “We are examining all options and also consulting with the other co-sponsors,” government sources said.
China had recently placed a “permanent block” on the Indian move in the UN to designate Azhar as a terrorist, after which India had lashed out, terming it “an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and (which) confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”.
Sources on Friday said India has not set any timeframe for making a fresh bid in getting the JeM chief designated as a global terrorist by the UN. There had been speculation earlier on whether the rules could be amended in some way to ensure that a veto by one nation does not scuttle such a move, particularly in cases like this in which 14 out of 15 nations backed the move, with just the Chinese veto obstructing it. All 15 nations on the Committee are members of the UN Security Council where China, as a permanent member, has the veto power. China had twice imposed a “technical” hold on the Indian proposal before going on to permanently block it on December 30. India now has the option of tabling a fresh move. New Delhi had recently said it is concerned at the “surprising” Chinese decision and that it had expected Beijing to be “more understanding” of the need to tackle the scourge of terrorism. Sources had said that though India is extremely unhappy, it is unlikely to escalate the situation since it does not want Sino-Indian ties to be held hostage to the Masood Azhar issue.
In fact, while the Indian reaction to the developments highlighted its disappointment, New Delhi had not launched a strong frontal attack on Beijing, leaving the door open for further parleys. India is likely to continue its efforts to persuade China, sources had said.
Beijing, however, is unlikely to oblige New Delhi even in the future since it has made huge investments on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and is completely backing Islamabad. January 31 was the deadline for China to take a final decision on the matter. An indication of China’s thinking had come a few days ago when Beijing said its views on the JeM chief “has not changed”.
If India wants to try again, it has to place a fresh proposal before the UN but there appears to be scepticism in Indian government circles about the wisdom of immediately going in for such a move. Diplomatically, Beijing’s move had come as a major boost to Pakistan and a setback for India. It is also further proof of the all-weather friendship between Islamabad and Beijing.
In its reaction, the MEA had said, “We note with concern China’s decision to block the proposal… presented nine months ago and had received the strong backing of all other members of the Committee. The international community is aware that the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is proscribed by the United Nations, has been responsible for innumerable terrorist attacks on India including the Pathankot Air Base attack. The inability of the international community to list its leader Masood Azhar is an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism. This decision by China is surprising as China herself has been affected by the scourge of terrorism and has declared opposition to all forms of terrorism. As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organisation.”
The MEA had added, “We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism. On our part, we will continue to push forward with resolute determination through the use of all options available with us to bring perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice.”