Bengaluru, Sept 21: Will India succeed in getting Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, proscribed a terrorist by the United Nations? After a failed attempt earlier this year, India will make another attempt by the end of this month.
Having Azhar proscribed a terrorist becomes extremely important considering he masterminded the attacks at Tangdhar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and not Uri. The last time around India's attempts failed after China blocked the same. Will China block India's attempt this time too?
When it comes to Azhar, the current favourite of the ISI is concerned, there is a lot than what meets the eye. While he has been the proxy warrior for the ISI against India, on the other hand, he also ensures that his men protect Chinese interests in Pakistan. This could well be one of the reasons, why China blocked India's efforts the last time around, officials in New Delhi say.
Is Azhar China's bouncer?
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.
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 as well. Officials say that there is more than what meets the eye. On one hand, it is Pakistan which requested China to block India's move against Azhar.
Pakistan has classified terrorists as good and bad. Pakistan's bad terrorists look to hurt investments made in that country. In such a scenario, the ISI uses the likes of Azhar to keep an eye on such elements.
The intelligence from the ground or countering such elements is normally done by the ISI's proxies such as Azhar or Hafiz Saeed.
India says that blocking Azhar from being declared a terrorist will have a bad effect on the region. These are elements capable of turning rogue anytime and China would need to understand that.
Azhar is the same person who plotted the killing of Pervez Musharaff when he was the president. However, he worked out a back room deal with the ISI as a result of which he was spared.