Srinagar: Minister for Public Works, Naeem Akhtar stoked a controversy on Tuesday by saying that Kashmir issue is not limited to India and Pakistan only and that China is also a major factor too.
Akthar who is also the official spokesman of the government and a close lieutenant of the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed that China is assuming a “much bigger role in Kashmir” and the Jaish-e-Mohammad has been veritably “adopted” by Beijing, the Indian Express reported. According to the report, Akhtar said that the Kashmir issue isn’t limited to the fight between India and Pakistan now. There is another major factor involved. It isn’t Pakistan alone, it is China too.
“Unlike earlier, the great game is literally being played inside Kashmir,” Akhtar was quoted by the news paper.
“General (Bipin Rawat) said that the Army is ready to fight on both fronts. But there aren’t two fronts anymore. Now it is one single front, circling around. From Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Valley to Jammu, Sri Lanka and Maldives, it is all one front. Pakistan and China aren’t separate,” Akhtar was quoted by the leading daily.
“How can one not see that he (Masood Azhar) has been adopted by China? There are reports of some action taken against Hafiz Saeed. What about Masood Azhar? Even a lesser figure like Salahudin has been listed as a global terrorist in UN but the Great Wall of China has been erected around Azhar. China has been regularly vetoing attempts to designate him (Azhar) as a terrorist in United Nations. Such things don’t happen without reason. Why only him? Why not others? Why didn’t China block such moves in UN against other people? The China connection needs to be understood”.
Akhtar said that the politicians in Kashmir are living at the mercy of Pakistan.
“When militants can sneak inside such fortified army camps like what happened in Sunjuwan (in Jammu), what can stop them to walk into our homes and kill us and our families?’’ he said. “Our (PDP’s) stance isn’t mere political rhetoric. We are at the forefront of this war and we see the entire picture”.
Pertinently, on November 2, 2017, China blocked a bid to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. The bid was made by the US, France and Britain at the behest of India. In fact, China has been repeatedly blocking India’s move to designate Azhar a terrorist under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. Jaish, however, is already on the UN’s list of banned groups.
In August last year, China extended by three months its technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar as global terrorist which was backed by US, France and Britain after it had blocked it in February. In March, 2016, China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.