MOSCOW: External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday did some tough talking with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on China blocking India’s bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN and asked Beijing to “review” its position.
“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.
Raising the issue with Wang during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the RIC meet, Swaraj emphasized 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 was 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.
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