By Sunil Garodia
China has blocked UN Security Council’s attempts to designate Masood Azhar a global terrorist for the fourth time. It has given the usual excuse that the charges need further study and verification. After showing a lot of restraint and positive diplomacy during the Pulwama/Balakot stand-off between India and Pakistan that showed that perhaps it was hardening its stance on Pakistan’s continued support to terror organizations, China has once again sided with Pakistan on this contentious issue. Other Security Council members have flayed China for its stand on the issue with the US saying they will explore “other action” to get the work done.
Why is China continuously blocking the proposed action on Masood Azhar? It had earlier declared that its aim was to combat global terrorism and further regional stability in South Asia. Then why is it not agreeing for a ban on Azhar, said to be the mastermind of most terror attacks on India and the biggest threat to destabilizing the already frosty relations between India and Pakistan? What is there for it to study further and verify? Does it think that the US, UK, France and Russia, the other members of the Security Council have missed something that it will discover to exonerate Azhar? Really, China’s stand smacks of unreasonableness and bias.
Is it because India refused to be a part of OBOR, the ambitious One Belt One Road initiative designed by China that is to pass through several nations, including POK? Or is it because China wants Pakistan to keep carrying on its proxy war against India by sheltering terrorists? There can be geopolitical compulsions too as China eyes large parts of the North-East and areas in J&K bordering Ladakh as its own. But whatever the reason, China must realize that the war against global terrorism and terror funding cannot be fought by being selective. Further, it cannot choose to ignore considered opinion across the world just because it has the veto power.