BRICS: China recognises Pakistan terror, but will it back India at UN
Is the China-Pakistan bonhomie wearing off? The BRICS declaration condemned the role various terror groups, but the one that was the highlight was the Jaish-e-Mohammad. It may be recalled that China had refused to support the ban on the Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
The BRICS declaration is clearly a signal that China has recognised the problem of Pakistan sponsored terror. The question however is whether a mere condemnation is sufficient or will China have to do more.
Experts are of the view that this is a great start. China has at least started recognising the threats posed by these groups. The next step would however be to back the ban on Azhar in the UN.
Will China back the ban? It is difficult to state for now if China would go that extra mile and back India's request. For Pakistan Azhar is a strategic asset. In fact only recently Azhar was told to play a bigger role in Kashmir. The Jaish had managed to ensure the infiltration of its men in large numbers. An Intelligence Bureau report spoke about these terrorists moving into Kashmir in a bid to carry out big strikes.
China taking a harsh stance on Azhar would mean angering Pakistan. Can China afford this?
China has plenty of business interests in Pakistan. China has sought from Pakistan an assurance that its assets would be protected and the same has been reciprocated.
Pakistan will deal strongly with any outfit in its country which threatens peace, but will remain mum on outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Jaish-e-Mohammad which are a threat only to India.
Following the Pathankot attack, India had renewed its call to impose a ban on Azhar and declare him a terrorist. India had submitted evidence about the involvement of the Jaish-e-Mohammad and also its leader in the Pathankot attack before the UN.
It even told the sanctions committee of the UN that not listing Azhar would expose not just India but the whole of South Asia to a potential risk.
The committee while submitting the proposal to UK, US and the other members said that if there is no objection then the decision to impose the ban would go through. However China stepped in and told the committee to place the decision on hold. It may be recalled that China had blocked India's move to ban Azhar after the 26/11 Mumbai attack as well.