China defends blocking India’s UN bid to ban JeM chief Azhar

Beijing: China on Saturday defended its decision to once again block India’s bid at the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, saying that it acts on such issues based on facts and rules in an “objective and just manner”.

Asked about China’s reported last minute move putting a technical hold on India’s submission which Indian officials say was armed with strong evidence of the JeM’s terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said here that China “supports UN playing a central and coordinating role in international cooperation against terrorism”.

“We always deal with the listing issue (banning militant groups and their leaders) under the UN Security Council committee established under resolution 1267 based on facts and relevant rules of procedures in an objective and just manner,” he said.

“The Chinese side has always been in communication with relevant parties on the listing issue,” he said hinting that China is also in touch with India on the issue.

This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts for a ban on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, didn’t allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.

Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying that its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness” with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.

Stating that China is opposed to all forms of terrorism, Hong said “China has also taken active part in international counter terrorism corporation”.

To another question about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington yesterday that the world community should “drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that ‘his’ terrorist is not ‘my’ terrorist,” Hong said “China opposes double standards on the issue of terrorism”.

“We believe that all parties should enhance communication in a bid to forge counter-terrorism synergy to work together with entire international community including India to jointly fight against the threat of terrorism and safeguard peace and stability of the region and beyond,” he said.

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