India to raise Masood Azhar issue in high level talks with China

Masood Azhar

In the wake of China blocking the move in United Nation to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar designated as international terrorist, India is expected to take up the issue with Beijing during the meetings between foreign ministers of the two countries as well as the Special Representatives (SR) for border talks over the next couple of weeks.

The government has also constituted a top level team to sort out the issue. The team includes External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Mr Parrikar is scheduled to visit Beijing later this month where the issue will be raised. Mr Doval will take up the issue with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi during his visit to Beijing.

After the Pathankot attack on January 2, India had approached the UN to include Mr Azhar in the Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list headed by the al Qaeda sanctions committee. The JeM was banned by the UN in 2001. However, the move to impose sanctions on Mr Azhar has been repeatedly opposed by China.

India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said that the issue of Mr Azhar was taken at a “fairly high level” with Beijing. He said that it will be pursued at the UN level as well. India and China are also expected to resume their border dialogue almost after a year.

The high level team has been asked to apprise the Chinese leadership over the issues of Pakistan-backed terrorists and the threats to regional peace and stability. The NSAs of India and China were scheduled to hold talks in January but Mr Doval had to cancel his visit to Beijing following the Pathankot attack.






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