India on Thursday hit out at China for its remarks that there was no consensus over the United States’ proposal to ban Pathankot attack mastermind and Jaish-e-Mohammed is chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations, saying if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be a consensus as well.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that the matter has been taken up with the Chinese Ambassador in New Delhi and a similar demarche is being made in Beijing.
Observing that the proposal was not moved by India but by three permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, the UK and France, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup described it as a “classic counter-terrorism proposal” and hoped that China will also come around to accept this view.
“It is our understanding that this was a classic counter- terrorism proposal meant to proscribe a dreaded terrorist leader Masood Azhar whose organisation the Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been proscribed by the UN 1267 Committee.
“We don’t view this as a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan but as an issue of global counter terrorism. We hope that eventually China will also come around to accepting this view. Obviously, if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be consensus also,” he said.
India’s sharp reaction came a day after China defended its decision to block the US-initiated proposal in the UN for designating Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the “conditions” have not yet been met for Beijing to back the move.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang had also told a media briefing in Beijing that his government resorted to this move to allow the “relevant parties” to reach a consensus.
“We put out technical hold after we had several rounds of consultations with India. We hope relevant parties have enough time to consult with each other to make sure that the decision made by the Committee will be based on consensus representing the broad international community,” he said.
Swarup also said the proposal was submitted on January 19 after induction of four new members to the UN Security Council.
China has put a “hold” on the US-initiated proposal, which comes barely weeks after India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN was scuttled by Beijing last December. This has prompted India to take up the matter with the Chinese government.
Earlier, replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said the government has consistently highlighted to China the threat of cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and affecting the region, including India.
“Specifically, we have emphasised forcefully that while Pakistan-based JeM has been proscribed by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee established under UNSC Resolutions 1267/1989/2253, as far back as 2001, for its well-known terror activities and links to the al Qaeda.
“The designation of JeM’s main leader, financer and motivator Masood Azhar has been repeatedly put on a technical hold. China decided to block the proposal to list Azhar as a designated terrorist in end December 2016,” Singh said.
He said similarly on earlier occasions, India had sought action in 1267 UN Sanctions Committee against known terrorists, including LeT leaders Zakiur Rehman Lakhavi and Hafiz Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen leader Syed Salahuddin.
India had requested China, in accordance with its “professed position of zero tolerance for terrorism and its desire for strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation with India”, to support its request, the minister said.
“However, China did not support India’s request and placed technical hold and blocked action by 1267 Committee,” Singh said.
He said China has stated its “resolute opposition to terrorism” in all forms and has agreed that there is no justification for terrorism.
“The government continues to push forward with resolute determination through the use of all available options to bring perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice,” Singh said.
Responding to a question, M J Akbar, MoS in MEA, said India has not had any structured dialogue with China on Baluchistan issue, but has expressed concern, including at multilateral fora, about human rights violations in the insurgency-hit province of Pakistan, where it has made significant investment.
In response to another question, Akbar said at the UN level, India has consistently highlighted that terrorism poses one of the foremost threats to international peace and security.
“In this context (India) has underlined the importance of ensuring coherence and transparency in the functioning of various bodies inside the UN that deal with the issue.
“In July 2016, member countries of the UN General Assembly, including India, requested the Secretary General to submit a report to the UNGA by April 2018 on the implementation of UN’s ‘Global Counter Terrorism Strategy’ to be discussed in June 2018 during the 72nd session of the UNGA,” Akbar said