Swaraj talks tough with China on Masood Azhar

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In a sharp reaction to China’s move to block India’s step for a United Nations ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said that it was important for both the countries to cooperate in combating terrorism. Mrs Swaraj took up the issue in a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi saying that China must rethink its position in UN 1267 Sanctions Committee if it was serious about fighting terrorism. “The distinction between good and bad terrorists, or “my terrorist and your terrorist”, had to be given up,” she added.

Mrs Swaraj, Mr Wang and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov jointly chaired a Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers meet in Moscow. At the trilateral meeting, Mrs Swaraj sought strong global action against terror networks. She warned the international community that if it continues to adopt “double standards” in dealing with the menace of terrorism, there will be “serious consequences”. Addressing a press conference along with Mr Wang and Mr Lavrov, Mrs Swaraj said that there was a need to craft an effective global strategy to counter terrorism, including at the UN.

Earlier this month, China had stopped India’s bid to get Mr Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN Sanctions Committee, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. The Chinese action triggered strong reaction in India which said that it was “incomprehensible” that while Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was banned by the UN, its chief was not.

“External Affairs Minister raised the issue of listing of Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 Committee and emphasised that as common victims of terrorism, China and India should cooperate in combating this challenge. It was agreed that the two sides would remain in touch on this matter,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

 

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