NEW DELHI: China is at it again. Beijing has once again put a hold on a proposal moved at the United Nations (UN) by the United States and co-supported by India to designate Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) terrorist Sajid Mir, one of India’s most wanted terrorists and the main handler of the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, as a global terrorist. India has a reason to slam China this time too. But apart from flaying Beijing for blocking the bid once again, New Delhi is upset and annoyed with the United States as well. India is of the view that the Biden administration’s several decisions over the past few months, suggesting the US’ strong desire to support Pakistan despite the country harbouring terror outfits, in fact, emboldened China to throw a spanner in the joint effort to get the LeT handler of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai declared a global terrorist. “This is being viewed as the US coddling or pampering Pakistan despite the fact that Islamabad is backing terrorists, their organisations and terror infrastructure,” top diplomatic sources told The Sunday Guardian. “With Washington adopting such an approach towards Pakistan, Beijing remains hardly under any pressure when it comes to taking a call on any proposal against terrorists,” sources said. “Instead of mounting pressure on both China and Pakistan, the US behaved in such a way that eased pressure on both of them,” added the sources. In fact, China is observing that the US is moving a proposal for blacklisting of a terrorist at the UN, and, at the same time, it is reaching out with help to Pakistan where the outfit of that terrorist is flourishing, said an official. “All this diffuses whatever pressure India has been able to build on China diplomatically,” he added. Such a situation suits China, which is always eager to help its friend Pakistan.
Last month, China had put a hold on a proposal by the US and India at the United Nations to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar, the brother of Jaish-e Mohammed (JEM) chief Masood Azhar and a senior leader of the Pakistan-based terror organisation. Beijing, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, has repeatedly put a hold on listings to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists under the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council. In June this year, China had put a hold, at the last moment, on a joint proposal by India and the US to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
However, it was the result of sustained pressure mounted by the international community after the Pulwama attack that China vacated objections, leading to the blacklisting of Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the UN. India had worked hard that time to garner the international community’s support to build pressure on China. The US, UK and France had supported India’s bid to designate Azhar as a terrorist. That time, the US rushed to claim Azhar’s blacklisting as a victory of American diplomacy. “Where is the same diplomatic campaign by America now? Why is the US showing excessive care for Pakistan?” diplomats ask now. India wants America to work with it to create massive international pressure on China, which was seen at the time of blacklisting of Azhar. China’s move to block the proposal should be portrayed in larger perspective on world forums as Beijing’s double-standard on counter-terrorism, which is hurting the global fight against this menace, say officials. The Chinese government should be criticised for hampering the war on terror. “But to achieve this objective, the US must be tough on Pakistan from where terrorism emanates,” an official pointed out.
On previous occasions, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that “China’s actions expose its doublespeak and double standards when it comes to the international community’s shared battle against terrorism.” The most important part of the statement was that “the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice.” Sources say that this is a message for the US also, which is not going tough on Pakistan in terms of tackling terrorism.
What upset India the most was the recent decision of the Biden administration to help Pakistan secure an IMF bailout. Moreover, the US’ move to unveil a $450 million deal to modernize Pakistan’s F-16 fleet has also annoyed India. While helping Pakistan to secure the IMF package, the US should have compelled Islamabad to first dismantle the terror infrastructure on its soil. Sources said that China is trying to help Pakistan to be dropped from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The US should counter this Chinese move immediately. What is being seen, however, is Washington’s efforts to enhance ties with Islamabad, regardless of the fact that it played a crucial role in the Afghanistan debacle, sources said. As a result, India’s campaign against Pakistan based terrorists at the UN gets weakened, with Beijing continuing to support Islamabad in the absence of requisite internal pressure.