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As India and Pakistan Claim Victory Over Masood Azhar's Ban, China Emerges Silent Winner

Experts say that there is a subtle win for the Chinese too as they made us wait for ten years to get Masood Azhar blacklisted.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:May 2, 2019, 5:05 PM IST
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Xi Jinping
File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

New Delhi: Hours after the UN designated Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, India said that it was a big diplomatic win for its efforts to get Azhar listed under the Sanctions List. Pakistan and the United States, too, have claimed that it is a big win for their respective governments.

While all three continue to scramble for credit on this development, there is one country which has so far not said anything about who did what. Experts have, however, noted that while India has to be commended for putting continuous pressure on other countries to designate Azhar, one must not forget that there is a subtle win for the Chinese in this too.

“The key point here is that China made us wait for ten years for this simple a thing. It should also be seen as a win for the Chinese that they made us wait this long. Imagine, how hard it will be for us when it comes to more significant matters,” said Jabin Jacob, an associate professor at the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies in Shiv Nadar University. Jacob added that most Chinese analysts appear to believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would get a second term.

“Thus, the timing of the listing in the middle of elections in India, the Chinese probably think, gives them some points with Modi. Even if Modi doesn’t come back to power, nobody can complain about China finally agreeing to the listing,” he added. Former ambassador Vivek Katju said that the listing was a mark of India’s strong diplomatic push. “This is a big gain for India after Balakot and showed that it means business. It has introduced the doctrine of pre-emption and the international community took note of it,” he said.

Former member of the National Security Advisory Board Alka Acharya lauded India for keeping up its diplomatic pressure campaign — both with China as well as on a global scale but she also pointed out that there would hardly be any difference in China’s relation with Pakistan. “The impact of world opinion especially in most of the western as well as among the Asian countries also become a major factor in the Chinese calculations. That said, China-Pakistan ties are unlikely to undergo any shift... Their strategic understanding will continue to underpin their special relationship. To what extent will this decision bring any reduction in cross-border terrorism and/or any major change in Pakistan remains to be seen,” she told News18.

And in fact, Chinese spokesperson, hours after Azhar was listed under the UN Sanctions List, said that it completely supported Pakistan in its fight against terror. “I would like to stress that Pakistan has made enormous contributions to fighting terrorism, which deserves the full recognition of the international community. China will continue to firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and extremist forces,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said on Wednesday.

A former diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous, voiced Acharya’s concerns. “How far will this go to curb cross border terrorism? Hafiz Saeed was designated under the same sanction list. We need to see things in perspective,” the former diplomat said.

It was in 2009 that India, for the first time under the UPA government, moved a proposal at the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the Sanctions Committee. Ten years on, the India has finally succeeded in getting on board all countries at the Security Council to get Azhar listed.

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