China blocking India's move in the United Nations to impose a ban on Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammad was not exactly surprising.
However, there is one thing that is clear and that is the double standards of both China and Pakistan when it comes to dealing with terrorism.
China does have a lot of investments in Pakistan and wants the same to be guarded at any cost. There are groups such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban which would look to hit the Chinese investments in a bid to embarrass Pakistan.
Secondly, there is also the problem of the Uyghur Muslims. Pakistan is known to use terrorists to fight the terrorists and this could well have played out in the case of Maulana Masood Azhar.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad may well be the second line of defence after the Pakistan army to protect Chinese interests in the country.
Anything is possible and if China is doing this then the game is a very dangerous one, says C D Sahay, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing. Sahay took time off to speak with OneIndia about the Maulana Masood Azhar issue and why this entire episode reeks of double of standards.
The terrorist vs terrorist theory:
Pakistan is known to have used outfits such as the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to hit out at terrorist groups that do not tow the line.
When Pakistan launched a major offensive against the Tehrik-e-Taliban post the Peshwar attack several operatives of both the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba were part of the operation to help the Pakistan army.
China has been investing heavily in Pakistan. They want their interests to be protected at any cost. In this context Pakistan could have assured them of protection and hence decided to use the Jaish-e-Mohammad as a second line of defence.
This is known as using the terrorists against the terrorists theory. Pakistan could have sold this idea to China and ensured that they did not support the ban on Azhar in the UN.
The attack on Mushraff:
In the year 2003, the Jaish-e-Mohammad fell out of favour with the Pakistan establishment when the outfit attempted an assassination on the then President, Pervez Mushraff.
The ISI was alerted about this plot and they managed to divert the route taken by Musharaff. The president was sent in the decoy while the convoy took the normal route. The convoy was hit by the Jaish-e-Mohammad operative.
This operative was sentenced to death, but the same was not carried out. It was only after the Peshawar attack when Nawaz Sharrif lifted the ban on death sentences, did this operative hang at the gallows.
He was in fact the second man to be hanged after the ban was lifted. Sahay asks, did this operative act on his own. There is no chance that he would have.
He would have had taken the permission and blessings of the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar. Pakistan however never probed that link.
The Pathankot attack:
Post the Pathankot attack, the entire former leadership of the ISI said that Azhar was the most wanted man and he was a fugitive.
They further stated that he was wanted in connection with the 2003 attack on the former president. This appeared to be a diversionary tactic, as they were aware that India would start pressurising them regarding Azhar.
However, when the truth could not be concealed any longer, Pakistan declared that he had been taken into protective custody.
Sahay says that the question he wants to raise here is, " if Azhar was a fugitive, then why does Pakistan go quietly to the Chinese and ask them to block a ban on him? China, I am sure would not have not acted on its own unless there was a specific request from Pakistan. China needs to be careful as such persons in the long run will hurt them."