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ET EDIT-Masood Azhar, JeM: China to Pak Rescue China cocks a snook at US, France & UK, too

March 15, 2019 07:33 AM

COURTESY ET EDIT MARCH 15

Masood Azhar, JeM: China to Pak Rescue
China cocks a snook at US, France & UK, too
Putting someone on the UN terrorist list is as effective in defanging him as recognising the passenger seated next to you in a plane filled to capacity has a cold is helpful in shielding you against the virus, if the terrorist in question is from Pakistan. Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Lashkare-Taiba, is a UN-designated terrorist but continues to live happily ever after under the fond eyes of Pakistan’s generals. So, the demand to put Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar Masood on that list is not so much about curbing his murderous activities as about embarrassing his host, Pakistan. It is in this bout of shadow-boxing that China has called time, yet again, calling for a technical hold on the move to label him a terrorist. China has spared Pakistan the blushes.

Should cheeks redden in India, instead? China has cocked a snook not just at India but at all other members of the UN Security Council who supported the move to label Azhar a terrorist, in particular, France, the US and UK, who moved the resolution. India does not have any leverage with China that the US does not have. What India does have is a disputed border, and a recent history of making China blink at a face-off between armies of the two countries in Bhutan at Dokalam. It is not in India’s overall national interests to make China’s stand in a round of shadow-boxing the primary basis for relations with that country. There would be multiple occasions when China requires international support and New Delhi would have occasion to articulate its displeasure at China’s readiness to back Pakistan even on terror.


Chief minister Narendra Modi of Gujarat had no qualms about criticising the UPA government for its inability to have Islamabad over a barrel. Rahul Gandhi is now castigating the prime minister for his inability to prevent China’s perfidy or condemn it. International relations of the country should not be dragged into the mud where much of our national political exchange takes place. He did it first might sound fine as juvenile justification. But not in mature politics.

 
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