India talks tough with China on Masood Azhar; slams double standards on terror

Moscow, Apr 18: India today did some plain-speaking with China over its blocking of the Indian bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN and warned the global community of "serious consequences" if it continues to adopt "double standards" in dealing with terrorism.

During a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also asked for a "review" of the Chinese action at the UN.

India talks tough with China on Masood Azhar

"I told him (Wang) that if we were to fulfil our intention of fighting terrorism together, then China should review the stand it had taken at the UN 1267 Committee," Swaraj told a joint press conference with Wang and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The three ministers had earlier jointly chaired a Russia- India-China (RIC) foreign ministers meet here. In her meeting with Wang, Swaraj emphasised the need for bilateral cooperation to combat the challenge of terrorism.

If India and China were to combat terrorism unitedly, then Beijing should change its position of opposing India's bid against Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar at the UN Sanctions Committee, Swaraj told Wang.

It was agreed during the Swaraj-Wang meeting that the two sides would remain in touch on the matter, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Last month, China had vetoed India's bid to get Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN Sanctions Committee, maintaining that the case "did not meet the requirements" of the Security Council.

The Chinese action evoked a strong reaction in India which said that it was "incomprehensible" that while Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was banned by the UN, its chief was not.

This is not the first time China has blocked India's bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN. The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India's efforts for slapping of sanctions on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow it apparently at the behest of Pakistan.

Earlier addressing RIC meet, Swaraj warned the international community of "serious consequences" if it continues to adopt "double standards" in dealing with terrorism.

"India believes that the foremost challenge to international security continues to be posed by international terrorism. The RIC countries must lead the way in getting the international community together to counter terrorism through joint action, including at the UN," Swaraj said.

"We must not fail in this regard. If we continue to adopt double standards in dealing with terrorism it will have serious consequences not just for our own countries, but the international community as a whole," she said.

Later, addressing a press conference along with Wang and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Swaraj said there was a need to craft an effective global strategy to counter terrorism, including at the UN.


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