China still elusive on backing India’s request on listing Azhar as ‘global terrorist’

Beijing: China on Tuesday made it clear that there is no change in its position on India’s request to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” by the UN and said it will decide on the issue on the “merits of the matter”.

India on Monday asked China to support the pending application in the UN to designate Azhar as a global terrorist during the first India-China high-level meeting on bilateral security cooperation which was co-chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, China, in New Delhi.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s bid at the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar as a “global terrorist”.

When asked to comment on India’s request, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she has to check the specific details of the talks between the two ministers.

“As per to India’s request for the listing of Masood (Azhar) we already stated our position for many times,” she said.

“On the counter terrorism issue, China has always actively participated in international anti-terrorist operations. We have always made our decisions and judgements on the merits of the matter itself,” she said.

“We will continue to step up the security cooperation to uphold the regional peace and stability with parties,” she said.

Azhar is accused of several deadly terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Uri military base in Kashmir in 2016 in which 17 security personnel were killed.

China has blocked India’s efforts to designate Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council citing lack of consensus among the members of the Council.

On reports that India has requested China to not to give shelter to hard-line United Liberation Front Of Assam (ULFA) leader Paresh Baruah, Hua said, “I shall stress that the Chinese government has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. This remains unchanged.”