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The Chinese block and why the ban on Maulana Masood Azhar never goes through


New Delhi, Sep 30: China has done it again on Jaish-e-Mohammad boss, Maulana Masood Azhar. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defended Beijing's repeated blockage of India's bids at the United Nations to list Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as a global terrorist.

China, while defending the terrorist, argued that the issue lacks "consensus" among the members of the UN Security Council as well as the "directly concerned" parties - India and Pakistan.

The Chinese block and why the ban on Maulana Masood Azhar never goes through

Masood Azhar is accused of several deadly terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Uri military base in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, in which 17 security personnel were killed.

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China, being a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly blocked India's move. The US, Britain and France all back India to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

Beyond what meets the eye:

India has always faced the Chinese block when it came to Azhar. This is not the first time that China has said that it will not support the ban. While on one hand, it continues to block the ban at the behest of Pakistan, on the other side it has its own vested interests.

Officials explain that it is not just bi-lateral. China has called Pakistan an all weather friend, while Azhar the man himself has called China the almighty. Apart from these aspects and the fact that Azhar guards China's assets in Pakistan it is also to ensure that India does not become supreme in the region.

Also Read | No political considerations over blocking UN move to list Masood Azhar global terrorist: China

China would not like India having its say in the UN. China has also been instrumental in blocking India's NSG bid several times. It is a case of being supreme and throwing its clout around says an informed officer in New Delhi. The officer says that although all nations say it openly that the war against terror is important, the fact of the matter is that all are divided in their approach. There are different equations at play.

The stakes in Afghanistan are very high. Russian President Vladimir Putin in fact changed the country's long standing policy against the US in Afghanistan. US was able to take over Afghanistan after Putin allowed the US set up base in Central Asia. China too has a major stake in Afghanistan and the recent statement by the Taliban in which it said it would not target infrastructure projects in Afghanistan is also significant. China has high stakes in Afghanistan and would not want that to be disturbed.

Also Read | 'Double standards' will only undermine efforts to combat terror: India on China's move

Any move in the UN on Azhar is likely to change China's equation with the Taliban which is considered to be close to the Jaish-e-Mohammad boss. More control in the UN for India would also tilt the balance against China. Officials explain that the reason for the block goes beyond the all weather friend or Azhar playing bouncer for Chinese investments in Pakistan theories. It is all about supremacy in the region, the officer also explains.

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