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China will declare Masood Azhar a terrorist if they get something in return from India: Former Ambassador to China

While delivering an annual lecture to the Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents, Former Ambassador to China and Bhutan Gautam Bambawale suggested that if India needs to designate Masood Azhar, the head of terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed, as a terrorist, it needs to have a transactional approach with China.

Bambawale said that China can stop using its veto every time India moves to ban Masood Azhar a terrorist if does or give China something it needs.

“If there is a bargain can indeed be struck. I am confident that our diplomats are already working on such a scenario” Bambawale was quoted by DNA. Bambawale, who is considered an expert on issues related to China, suggested that barter can work in the case of China, as both countries mutually agree on a variety of issues.

India has been persistent in its approach to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. In 2009, India had moved a proposal to ban Azhar. In 2016 again, India moved a similar proposal with the P3 (the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Masood Azhar, in the wake of the 2016 attack on India’s Pathankot by JeM terrorists.

The P3 nations had moved a similar proposal again in 2017. However, on all occasions, the proposal was blocked by China, a veto-wielding member of the UNSC.

Even after the ghastly terrorist attack in Pulwama, last month, China has shown indifference to the matter, by refusing to label Azhar as a terrorist. On February 15th, spokesmen of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang had expressed sympathy for the victims of the attack and also had asked the regional countries to come together to fight the menace of terrorism.

But, along with this, he had added, “as for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations. JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner.”

On the boundary issues between India and China, Former Diplomat Bambawale said that is a difficult issue due to the nature of borders in Himalayan regions.

“Elaborate and fairly successful Standard Operating Procedures have been put into place to ensure that our Armed Forces do not get into situations which will raise temperatures in the relatively cool climes of the India – China boundary,” Bambawale said. He said in the present decade, Indian and Chinese army have come directly face to face on three occasion: Depsang in 2013, Chumar in 2014 and most recently Doklam in 2017.

The former diplomat said this is because India now has a better border than 20 or 25 years ago, which is giving both Indian and Chinese forces more chances of confrontation.

“In each case, the Chinese PLA attempted to change the status quo on our frontier and in each case the Indian Army blocked such an attempt. Once the status quo was resumed, the situation went back to normal, although it may be a new normal,” He added. The former Ambassador, further remarked that his experience shows that Chinese has changed owing to its fast-paced economic growth, and its proclivity to new ideas.

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