China’s constant harping for evidence on Masood Azhar a red herring Uday Bhaskar

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With Beijing defending its stand on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar saying that New Delhi does not have enough evidence, defence expert Uday Bhaskar has warned that China?s constant harping on evidence is a red herring and proof of their ambiguous position in the matter, adding that Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar should keep this in mind ahead of his meeting with China?s executive vice-foreign minister Zhang Yesui.

Speaking to ANI here, Commodore (Retd.) C. Uday Bhaskar expressed no surprise towards China?s statement, saying that it was quite predictable instead. He further opined that Beijing projects the image of ?a responsible power? in public, but had something else in mind when it came to India?.
When it comes to India, it (China) engages in what it might call very transactional kind of politics, which means that as far as terrorism and the case of Masood Azhar are concerned, Pakistan has become the preferred ally or partner for China in the southern Asian context. And this constant harping on evidence is to my mind a red herring,? he said.

He further said that from the deadly Mumbai terror attacks that took place in 2008 until now, there has been ample evidence put together by India about a number of terrorist leaders, who have been given shelter in Pakistan and this was a very rigorous document that had been put together by India, at a time when P. Chidambaram was the Home Minister, adding that it has been shared at every global forum with the professional intelligence agencies?
Almost all countries in the world, except Pakistan and now China, were convinced that the evidence was quite solid. So at this stage when China is a permanent member of the UNSC and it is using technical hold as the argument, and further more suggesting to India that the evidence needs to be more convincing, I think the ambiguity in Chinese stand is very clear that this kind of evidence which was satisfactory for the whole world, does not seem to convince Beijing,? the expert stated.

Calling on the Indian Foreign Secretary to factor this ahead of his dialogue with Beijing, Bhaskar further added that China wants to provide the equivalent of a lifeline to Pakistan in regards with Masood Azhar.

The issue of China repeatedly blocking India?s move to ban Azhar under the UN Security Council?s 1267 committee is expected to feature in the talks to be held in Beijing on February 22.

China and India will hold their first Strategic Dialogue on February 22 in Beijing, during which the two sides will discuss key issues of mutual concern and interest, including “friction points,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Earlier this month, China blocked a US-sponsored move for the listing Azhar after blocking India?s application three times last year. At the time, China said there was no consensus among members of the 1267 committee and conditions had not been met to include Pakistan-based Azhar in the list of UN-designated terrorists.

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