Why is China repeatedly blocking India’s initiative to sanction and designate Masood Azhar, the architect of the 26/11 Mumbai massacre and the Pathankot airbase assault, as an international terrorist? The answer is not all that esoteric as Beijing is simply rallying behind its all-weather ally and client state Pakistan, which is under pressure from India to account for the attack on the military camp at Uri by Pakistani terrorists.
At a time when India is engaged in a concerted diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan internationally over its support to cross-border terror, China’s stance over the UN proscription of Masood Azhar designation has come as a huge disappointment for India. China’s posture is especially galling for India as it reveals duplicity and indicates a segmented approach towards terrorism, which is coming in the way of forging a united global front against terrorism.
Impartiality and objectivity?
In its official explanation, Beijing has resorted to technicalities, saying that 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 and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.
This assertion flies in the face of facts as all members of the UN Security Council had supported New Delhi’s initiative to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would bar him from travel and access to funds. On March 31, when India’s application came before the 15-nation UNSC, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, was the only country to block the move. This time around, the Chinese official spokesperson argued that the 1267 Committee “should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgements on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council.”
Who is Masood Azhar? From Jihad to Jannat
Impartiality and objectivity? It looks like China is sceptical of Masood Azhar’s well-known record of perpetrating terror and using specious jihadi propaganda to kill infidels across the world. Given robust intelligence capability of China, it’s not hard to double-check Azhar’s horrendous record. India has amassed solid evidence to establish Masood Azhar’s complicity in major terror assaults on India, including the 2001 parliament attack, 26/11 Mumbai carnage and the Pathankot airbase assault. He is also suspected to be the mastermind behind the latest attack by Pakistani terrorists on the Uri military camp in Uri, which killed 18 Indian soldiers. With China’s close links with Pakistan’s military establishment, it’s hard to believe that Beijing is ignorant of Azhar’s use by Rawalpindi in its proxy war to target India.
Talking of evidence and objectivity, Chinese officials have to only listen to numerous hate speeches made by Azhar against not only India, but also against all infidels in the world. In Azhar’s twisted worldview and warped-up theology, all non-Muslims, including Han Chinese, are enemies and should be killed to please Allah!
If China is unmoved by repeated terror attacks in India, masterminded by Azhar and his associates, Chinese officials should listen to speeches made by this self-proclaimed messiah of Islam at mosques in London in the 1990s.
Indeed the man has charisma given the record crowd of Muslim scholars he attracted at his various outings in London, but as we know Satan could also be ineluctably seductive. The recordings of his speeches can be accessed in archives. In a speech, he told students and teachers that a substantial proportion of the Quran had been devoted to “killing for the sake of Allah” and that a substantial volume of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad were on the issue of jihad.
In an address at the inauguration ceremony for the Jamia Islamia mosque in Plaistow Azhar spoke seductively about “the divine promise of victory to those engaged in jihad”. In another speech in London, he said: “The youth should prepare for jihad without any delay. They should get jihadist training from wherever they can. We are also ready to offer our services.” The speech was entitled “From jihad to jannat [paradise]! Is this the kind of paradise any sane, sensible person in the world, including the Chinese, would like to live?
An Asian Century sans terror
It’s sad and distressing to see that the UN listing of terror mastermind Masood Azhar has become a contentious issue in relations between the two Asian giants which have so much to gain by accelerating counter-terror cooperation and forging a broad-based mutually empowering partnership. It’s profoundly disturbing to see that China is resorting to technicalities to prevent the much-needed UN sanctioning of the diabolic man who has declared his sole mission to be the destruction of India. In an incendiary speech in Karachi, the satanic mind exhorted his followers in Karachi: “I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed India.”
This is the hate-spewing butcher who is being patronised by sections of Pakistan’s military-political establishment and whose proscription by the UN is being opposed to China. This kind of ambivalence can come back to haunt China as it grapples with militants in its backyard in Xinjiang. The attack on the Chinese embassy in Bishkek should be a wake-up call for China as it underscored global interconnections of terrorist groups and jihad factories.
No sophistry on terror, please!
The twisted logic of Pakistan, a self-destroying failing state, is understandable, but for China this vacillation and sophistry on Masood Azhar’s designation a global terrorist undermines its big power pretensions. The promise of an Asian Century, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping decided to collaborate, can’t be fructified if cross-border terrorism continues unabated. Shielding Masood Azhar, a propagandist zealot and a terror impresario, in the UN can’t be part of the China Dream, which President Xi has so eloquently spoken about, and it surely does not befit an ancient civilisation and an emerging power!
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