The Red China has blocked, for the fourth time, the proposal to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, while his Pak based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) continues to be listed by the UN as the global terrorist outfit.
The US stand is clear that he meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Queda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, initiated by the three permanent members of the Security Council — France, the UK and the USA — was endorsed by all the other members of the Security Council.
Masood Azhar masterminded many audacious terrorist attacks on India — the attack on Parliament in December 2001 and the recent attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14 that martyred 40 jawans — bringing twice both India and Pakistan to the brink of war. After the Pulwama attack, China was a party to the UNSC statement that condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack, naming the JeM. It is obvious China does not want to strain its relations with its all-weather friend Pakistan and the Islamic hard-line organisations within that country. It shows the depth of China-Pak strategic nexus at India’s expenses.
Beijing has yet again shown by vetoing the proposal that it is not bothered about the peace being jeopardised in the Indian sub-continent or even worried about the free run that terrorists enjoy with blessings across the border as long as the terrorists do not pose threat within its own territory. China is under the illusion that its trouble in its Muslim dominated province — Xinjiang — where the uprising is brutally crushed, that by appeasing Pakistan and the Islamic militant groups, the trouble in its province could be contained.
The protest by the majority Muslim community Uighurs in Xinjiang is crushed with the might of the state, resulting in gross abuse of human rights. China wants to protect its huge financial investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, culminating in a military port in Gwadar.
Arun Jaitley, who heads the BJP’s publicity committee, took the China’s snub lightly and instead blamed Pandit Nehru for China becoming the permanent member of the UN Security Council with the veto power, implying had China not been a permanent member, the things would have been different for India in tackling terrorism. This is farfetched. It is a bizarre argument.
He conveniently forgot China was the original permanent member of the UN Security Council and the UN founded in 1945. It was after Mao’s communist revolution in 1949 that the US blocked China’s entry into the world body till 1972. Pandit Nehru, acting as a bridge and buffer between the two cold war blocs at that time, didn’t want to take undo advantage of the situation and make India a permanent member by default and thereby lose enormous moral authority that she had exercised in the community of nations.
Jaitley has distorted the historical context of his letter dated August 2, 1955, addressed to the Chief Ministers. In the very letter, Nehru wrote: “Informally, suggestions have been made by the United States that China should be taken into the United Nations but not in the Security Council, and that India should take her place in the Security Council. India is not anxious to enter the Security Council at this stage, even though as a great country she ought to be there.
The first step to be taken is for China to take her rightful place and then the question of India might be considered separately.” He believed that the UN system would not survive if the largest and the most populous country was treated as untouchable. And the survival of the UN was a sine qua non for peace and security and to save the world from the scourge of war.
India is snubbed by China time and again on issues of national interest and security — opposing India’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council, blocking its entry into the NSG, raising a full-fledged military complex in Doklam, intrusion into the ‘chicken neck’ — Silliguri corridor — upgrading air base near Sikkim and issuing stapled visas to the people of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, even questioning the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Arunachal.
India is humbled and humiliated. And yet India’s approach towards China is lukewarm and soft. It is unable to take a firm stand against its big eastern neighbour. China considers this overly cautious approach of India as weakness. Indian business has been squeezed out of China yielding a yawning trade deficit of $63 billion (increased by 75% during the NDA regime). The apparent bonhomie between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping had not stopped the latter adapting bullying tactics towards the former
China has been practicing double standards in dealing with India. While it expects India to honour its core interests, it stomps all over India’s core interests. India must have courage to call the bluff. As the former Indian Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji says, “The time has come to focus on the veto power of China in the UNSC being used cynically to oppose global counter-terrorism measures.” China’s hegemony continues to be a major challenge to India.
G Ramachandram is a professor of Political Science, retired principal and an independent author.