When he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Goa in around 10 days from now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to invoke China’s “zero tolerance” towards terrorism and ask it to reconsider Beijing’s position on blocking India’s bid to get the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
Modi is scheduled to meet Xi on October 15-16 on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Goa. The meeting will take place against the backdrop of China putting a technical hold for the fifth time Azar’s listing under the UN 1267 sanctions committee list.
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Top government sources told The Indian Express that the PM is ready to share “additional information” with Xi, and will convey the urgency in the light of China’s professed policy of “zero tolerance” towards terror. Some groundwork on the issue was done during the meeting between NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo when the two met last month during the BRICS NSAs’ meeting.
“The government wants that the listing should happen in January, once the technical hold for another three months expires. Let’s see what the Chinese leader says,” a top government source told The Indian Express.
In the run-up to the Modi-Xi meeting, New Delhi Thursday mounted a thinly veiled attack on China. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that only one country had put the technical hold, as he criticised the complete “non-transparent and anonymous” manner of designating individuals by the UN Sanctions Committee.
Swarup added that the UN will be sending a “dangerous message” if it fails to act upon India’s demand to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.
Noting that the UN sanctions committee had already proscribed JeM, he said that the panel, however, had ignored the need to take action against the organisation’s main leader, financier and motivator, who continues his terrorist actions unhindered.
“The Committee has already pondered (over) our submission for the last six months. It will get a further three months to ponder, but that will in no way change the strange situation we have of the Committee designating the terror organisation but failing to or ignoring the need to designate the organisation’s most active and dangerous terrorist,” Swarup said.
“We conveyed to the Committee that it is expected to proscribe Azhar under the 1267 Sanction Regime on the basis of our submission. Such a designation would help send a strong signal to all terror groups across the world that the international community is no longer going to pursue, or tolerate, selective approaches to terrorism,” he added, noting that the issue was also being taken up with China.
He emphasised that India would welcome any move, which enables functioning of the UN Committee in a “manner where political considerations do not hold hostage the designation of known terrorists”.
The Chinese technical hold, put on March 31, had lapsed Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist would have been passed automatically. Beijing had on Saturday announced the extension of its “technical hold”.
Earlier this week, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit had told The Indian Express, “Masood Azhar… if there is any solid evidence against him, he would have been on the list by now. I think China is always very correct on these matters… if India does have any evidence then they should share (it) with us and China.”
On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had said, “There are still different views on India’s listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter…”
This issue has been going on since 2009, when China and the UK had put technical hold on the listing.