Why does the Masood Azhar ban always hit China's 'great wall'

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The move by India to enforce a ban on Maulana Masood Azhar by the United Nations ran into the mighty Chinese wall again. China remained adamant and refused to back the ban as sought by India. Azhar is an accused in the Pathankot, Parliament, Uri and Nagrota attacks.

Indian officials say that China is adamant, ill-advised and its decision to yet again block the ban mindless. This is not the first time that China has played truant when India has sought a ban on terrorists from Pakistan. While the bid to block a ban on Azhar has been done several times, similar actions have been seen in the cases of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Lashkar-e-Tayiba operatives Abdul Rehman Makki and Azam Cheema. China has also blocked questions on how the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the Lashkar's top bosses have been able to access funds in Pakistan despite a UN ban.

Maulana Masood Azhar

What is China's agenda?

Officials explain that it is not just bi-lateral. China has called Pakistan an all weather friend, while Azhar the man himself has called China the almighty. Apart from these aspects and the fact that Azhar guards China's assets in Pakistan it is also to ensure that India does not become supreme in the region.

China would not like India having its say in the UN. China has also been instrumental in blocking India's NSG bid several times. It is a case of being supreme and throwing its clout around says an informed officer in New Delhi. The officer says that although all nations say it openly that the war against terror is important, the fact of the matter is that all are divided in their approach. There are different equations at play.

The stakes in Afghanistan are very high. Russian President Vladimir Putin in fact changed the country's long standing policy against the US in Afghanistan. US was able to take over Afghanistan after Putin allowed the US set up base in Central Asia. China too has a major stake in Afghanistan and the recent statement by the Taliban in which it said it would not target infrastructure projects in Afghanistan is also significant. China has high stakes in Afghanistan and would not want that to be disturbed.

Any move in the UN on Azhar is likely to change China's equation with the Taliban which is considered to be close to the Jaish-e-Mohammad boss. More control in the UN for India would also tilt the balance against China. Officials explain that the reason for the block goes beyond the all weather friend or Azhar playing bouncer for Chinese investments in Pakistan theories. It is all about supremacy in the region, the officer also explains.

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