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Back off from the Uighurs, we will support you: The China-Azhar bonhomie explained


New Delhi, Feb 20: Around a decade back, China has demanded from Pakistan the return of a top terrorist of the Islamist Uyghur East Turkestan Islamic Movement. It was learnt that this terrorist traced to Pakistan was involved in the Xinjiang bombing.

Maulana Masood Azhar

He was handed over in no time to China. This is significant to mention considering China continues to relentlessly block India's bid to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.

India's request to enforce a ban on Azhar has hit the wall, not just once, but on several occasions. India has always maintained that China is adamant and ill-informed where Azhar is concerned.

France to call for UN action against Jaish chief Masood Azhar

China has often referred to Pakistan as an all weather friend and Azhar has often referred to China as the almighty. However the matter is not just bi-lateral. China has interests in Afghanistan and the Taliban it may be recalled had recently said that it would not target the infrastructure projects. It is also a well known fact that the Taliban shares a close bond with the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

China has in fact has had an understanding with the Taliban since the past three decades. At the time of the Soviet war, China had trained several mujahideen on the condition that they would not in any way support the Uyghurs.

Experts point out that any move on Azhar could change dramatically the equations with the Taliban, which is close to the JeM. In order to enforce a ban on Azhar, India would need to drum up a lot of international support, like it did in the aftermath of the 26/11 attack.

China was initially reluctant to designate Lashkar-e-Tayiba chief, Hafiz Saeed as a terrorist. However there was huge international pressure on China, considering the magnitude of the attack, following which Beijing was forced to buckle down.

The Maulana menace: From a journalist, how Azhar became a dreaded terrorist

Another reason, why Azhar is backed by China is because the JeM has very often helped prevent attacks at the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. China wants to ensure the safety of thousands of its workers and hence such protection from the likes of Azhar becomes absolutely necessary.

The Pakistan Taliban has often threatened to strike at the CPEC citing the Chinese atrocities against the Uighurs Muslims. Outfits such as the JeM hand over the required protection against the Pakistan Taliban for the Chinese at CPEC.

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