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Diplomacy

‘Most Uncalled For’: India on China Blocking Move To Blacklist JeM Leader Rauf Azhar

"It is unfortunate that when it comes to our collective battle against terrorism, the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

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New Delhi: India on Friday said China’s decision to block a proposal at the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) deputy chief Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist was “most uncalled for”.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India will continue to pursue its principled position of bringing the terrorist to justice including through the UN Security Council’s sanction regime.

“It is unfortunate that when it comes to our collective battle against terrorism, the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice,” he said at a media briefing.

Abdul Rauf, the younger brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar, has been involved in planning and executing numerous terror strikes in India including the hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft IC814 in 1999, the attack on Parliament in 2001 and the targeting of the IAF base in Pathankot in 2016.

China on Wednesday put a technical hold on a joint proposal at the UN Security Council by India and the US to blacklist him. All other 14 member states of the top UN body supported the move. The Chinese action came less than a month after Beijing blocked a similar joint proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Abdul Rehman Makki.

Makki too has been involved in raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youths to resort to violence and planning and executing attacks in India, including the Mumbai terror strikes.

The proposal to designate Abdul Rauf was moved in the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee and the documents related to it were circulated among all the member nations.

In the past, China repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Pakistan-based terrorists.

After China blocked the proposal to designate Makki as an international terrorist, government sources said that the action ran counter to Beijing’s claim of combating terrorism.

Makki is the head of the political affairs of LeT and Jamat ud-Dawa (JuD), and served as head of LeT’s foreign relations department.

The LeT has been involved in major attacks in India such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Red Fort Attack in 2000, Rampur CRPF Camp attack in January 2008, Khanpora (Baramulla) attack in 2018, Srinagar attack in June 2018 and Gurez/Bandipora attack in 2018, according to sources in the security establishment.

Rejects China’s insinuations about ship docking

Speaking about Sri Lanka’s decision to delay the planned docking of a high-tech Chinese research vessel at the strategic Hambantota Port, Bagchi said New Delhi rejects insinuations about India. “Sri Lanka is a sovereign country and makes its own independent decisions,” he said.

China had on August 8 taken a dig at India, saying it was “completely unjustified” for certain countries to cite so-called “security concerns” to pressure Colombo and “grossly interfere” in its internal affairs.

“Insofar as India-Sri Lanka relations are concerned, you are aware of the centrality that Sri Lanka occupies in our Neighbourhood First policy. India has extended this year itself an unprecedented support of over US$ 3. 8 billion for ameliorating the serious economic situation in Sri Lanka. India also is fully supportive of its democracy, stability and economic recovery,” Bagchi added.

“As regards India-China relations, we have consistently emphasized the necessity of mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests as a basis for the development of ties,” he said.

Security concerns are the sovereign right of every country, the MEA spokesperson said, adding, “We will make the best judgment in our own interest. This naturally takes into account the prevailing situation in our region, especially in the border areas.”