A day after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) strongly condemned the Pulwama terror attack and named Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the “heinous and cowardly suicide bombing”, China on Friday sought to downplay the resolution, saying the mention of the JeM was only in “general terms” and “does not represent a judgement”.
“On Thursday, the UN Security Council issued a press statement that mentioned a particular organisation but only in general terms. It does not represent a judgment on the attack,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, while referring to the UNSC statement.
While Beijing agreed to name JeM, which is a UN-proscribed terrorist group since 2002, it has not yet yielded on JeM chief Masood Azhar’s listing.
The statement, which was issued late Thursday night, said, “the members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in over 40 Indian paramilitary forces dead and dozens wounded on February 14, 2019, for which Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility”.
Asked about the statement highlighting the role of JeM in the attack, Geng said Beijing was closely following the developments related to the terror incident.
The spokesperson said that “China also noted that the Pakistani government showed readiness to cooperate with India on the investigation and that it is also ready to resolve differences with India through dialogue”.
“China hopes all parties will work to find the truth about this attack. We hope Pakistan and India will engage in dialogue to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability,” he said.
The UNSC statement was considered significant as China has singlehandedly blocked the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” at the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 sanctions committee for the last 10 years. At least three attempts in the last decade — in 2009, 2016 and 2017 — have been blocked by Beijing at Pakistan’s behest.