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  Opinion   Edit  11 Feb 2017  Has China takes a shine to terrorists?

Has China takes a shine to terrorists?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Feb 11, 2017, 1:37 am IST
Updated : Feb 11, 2017, 6:22 am IST

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, but it won’t help to fight international terrorism.

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar (Photo: AFP)
 Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar (Photo: AFP)

Chinese actions in recent months have demonstrably established that Beijing cannot be trusted as a major power that can be relied upon to play a constructive part in the fight against religious extremism and terrorism, although it professes to be against terrorism, which has emerged as a scourge of the world.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, but it won’t help to fight international terrorism, which has emerged as a leading threat to international stability.

 

In order to contain the terrorist menace in its own territories such as Uighur-dominated Muslim Xinjiang, it placates Pakistan — widely regarded as the epicentre of international terrorism — through aid in the field of nuclear weapons and missile technology, and latterly through a massive infusion of funds in Pakistani infrastructure.

The case of China repeatedly blocking international efforts at the UN to name Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, suggests that Beijing has gone beyond mollycoddling the state of Pakistan and its military to mollycoddling extremist and terrorist outfits themselves so that they may keep their attention away from vulnerable regions within China.

 

Earlier this week, China, using its veto rights as a permanent UNSC member, blocked a US proposal co-sponsored by Britain and France, to have Azhar declared a global terrorist. It was the only country to oppose the move on the flimsy ground that international “consensus” had not been reached in naming Azhar when it could have supplied the missing link in the consensus, as India officially pointed out on Thursday while issuing a demarche against China.

A demarche is the lowest form of diplomatic protest and is unlikely to have any effect on Beijing. China appears to be apprehensive that its massive long-term investments in Pakistan’s security and economic sectors may be somewhat prejudiced if it helps to arraign a top Pakistani religious extremist who heads one of its most significant terror outfits. Now Islamabad has evidently gained a leverage over Beijing that the latter would find difficult to shake off.

 

Even so, it is ironical that while Azhar’s outfit, the JeM, whose foot soldiers attacked India’s Air Force base in Pathankot in January 2015, has already been named a global terrorist outfit in the UN’s 1267 Committee, China blocks the naming of the founder of the organisation under the same category.

In December last year, Beijing, using its status as a permanent member of the UNSC permanently blocked India’s efforts to have Azhar declared a global terrorist. This was a step-up from the “technical hold” which it had placed on the Indian move on Azhar. And now an initiative backed by three other permanent members of the UNSC has been blocked. Beijing seems intent on doing the wrong thing.

 

Tags: masood azhar, jaish-e-mohammed, unsc, china