Beijing, April 26: India and Pakistan should resolve the issue over Masood Azhar through "direct" and "serious consultations", China on Tuesday, April 26 said, weeks after blocking India's bid in the UN to ban the JeM chief that generated negativity in bilateral ties.
"We encourage all parties related to the listing matter of Masood Azhar to have direct communication and work out a solution through serious consultations," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a written communication to media here on the issue which drew serious protests from New Delhi over Beijing's last minute move to block its bid to slap a UN ban on Azhar.
Replying to a question about whether there is any change in China's stand on the issue after a number of top Indian officials conveyed India's strong concerns over the move, Hua said as per the rules of the UN Committee on counterterrorism, the relevant countries should have direct talks.
In addition to Hua's comments, Chinese officials expressed confidence that the issue will be resolved as Beijing is also in touch with Islamabad on the issue.
Her comments came as Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan held talks in New Delhi today, in which India raised the Azhar issue. While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took up the issue with her counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of Russia, India, China (RIC) Ministers meet in Moscow on April 18, it was raised by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with his Chinese counterpart the same day in Beijing.
The issue was subsequently raised by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi during the just-concluded 19th round of India-China border talks.