New Delhi, Apr 1: Even as India handed over evidence against Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Pakistan found an ally in China to block the United Nations from declaring him a terrorist.
China obviously did not act on its own. The decision to keep the decision on hold was taken after consultations with Pakistan which is not on the UN committee.
On one hand it shows that China is ready to walk that extra mile where Pakistan is concerned. The other crucial issue here is that despite all the bon-homie that was shown by Pakistan when its team visited Pathankot, the fact is that they are in no mood to act against Azhar who is a menace for India.
On Thursday, OneIndia had reported that India should be realistic and not expect access to Maualana Masood Azhar when the NIA visits Paksitan (On Mauala Azhar, India needs to be realistic: Access to the JeM will not be granted).
China backs Pakistan
China has plenty of business interests in Pakistan. China has sought from Pakistan an assurance that its assets would be protected and the same has been reciprocated.
Pakistan will deal strongly with any outfit in its country which threatens peace, but will remain mum on outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammad which are a threat only to India.
Following the Pathankot attack, India had renewed its call to impose a ban on Azhar and declare him a terrorist. India had submitted evidence about the involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and also its leader in the Pathankot attack before the UN.
It even told the sanctions committee of the UN that not listing Azhar would expose not just India but the whole of South Asia to a potential risk.
The committee while submitting the proposal to UK, US and the other members said that if there is no objection then the decision to impose the ban would go through. However China stepped in and told the committee to place the decision on hold. It may be recalled that China had blocked India's move to ban Azhar after the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
What does this mean for India?
India was hopeful that Pakistan would assist it where Azhar is concerned. The NIA is proposing a visit to Pakistan where it would seek access to Azhar. No matter what the bonhomie is between India and Pakistan there are some in that country who will always remain off limits.
The names that come immediately to mind are Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Azhar. You could call them proxies of the state or assets of the ISI.
Pakistan will find a lot of ways to deny India access to Azhar and his brother Asghar who is the mastermind of the attack. Sources tell OneIndia that they are not at all hopeful of getting access. Granting access to Azhar would shake the balance in Pakistan.
Moreover if an Indian investigator speaks with Azhar there is always the danger of him seeking revenge against his own country and spilling the beans on who remote controls him (read ISI).