N. P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: A United Nations Security Council committee blacklisted Massod Azhar who is talked to be the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) this Wednesday after Pakistan’s “iron brother” China dropped its objection to the move ending a decade-long diplomatic impasse obliging primarily the US, the Western countries and the India’s Hindu terror machine now led by Prime Minister Modi.
Resisting years of pressure from different countries more so from the Indian regime for the listing of the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, as a global terrorist , China has finally altered its structured policy and acted as per the preferences of the West, the US and the Indian regime.
To recall, earlier, several attempts made by these countries to add Azhar to the United Nations blacklist under the 1267 Committee, had summarily failed as China had put a hold on the process claiming the issue demanded extensive consultations.
After the February 14 Pulwama attack, which killed at least 40 Indian security personnel, France, the U.K. and the U.S. had jointly pushed the issue at the UNSC for what could be called as an “application for listing”.
The fresh listing application made by the West too was put on a “technical hold” by the Chinese regime initially more so after the Pulwama attack.
However, when its period of keeping the issue on a technical hold lapsed, China raised no fresh opposition as in the past, which led to the listing of Azhar Masood as a terrorist.
This then means that there will be a travel ban, arms embargo on Azhar and his assets will be frozen internationally more so in Pakistan.
Says Arif Jamal, May 2, 2019, a security analyst while talking to the BBC world service that the listing of Azhar Masood by China has just a symbolic meaning only.
“The listing has symbolic meaning and nothing more than that”, opined Jamal-the security analyst.
Tentatively, India’s seasoned political analyst Brahma Chellany too takes China’s fresh move as regards Masood Azhar as to have just a figurative significance.
But then what factors made China to suddenly change its old mindset has to be studied in details.
The story runs like this tentatively. The shift came after a decade of lobbying from India, during which time China raised several holds on proposals to blacklist Azhar due to technicalities – a move that prompted criticism that Beijing was shielding the terrorist at the behest of its “all-weather” ally Pakistan.
Immediately after the fresh India-Pakistan tussle beginning February 14, 2019, several countries behind the scene came into action. The countries that were lobbying in Indian favor beginning early March this year were primarily the US, France and the UK whose political interests, needless to say, were tied up with India’s.
When China was almost in a mood to lift the hold at the UNSC on Massod Azhar, then the Nepal born Indian foreign secretary Bijaya Gokhaley was in Beijing in the third week of April 2019, wherein he appealed the Chinese government that Masood Ajhar be declared a terrorist by lifting China’s technical hold that has shielded Azhar from being listed as an International terrorist. Gokhley was the special emissary of PM Modi.
Mr. Gokhaley is learnt to have provided the Chinese foreign minister with proofs which supported the Indian presumption that since Masood Azhar was a dreaded terrorist and thus he be not shielded by the Chinese regime honoring the serious efforts being made by some influential countries in the West and also of the Indian regime which had felt the brunt of Masood’s terror activities right inside India.
The Chinese foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi listened to the Indian version and in a diplomatic manner assured Gokhaley that China will look into the matter seriously.
Gokhaley returned Delhi with a beaming face as if he had won a great diplomatic battle on his own.
Though these political overtures were just for show only. Internal diplomatic activities were at its peak for the entire month of March till the end of April 2019.
Washington was playing a smart role in convincing the three countries: China, Pakistan and India. Mike Pompeo had taken the lead.
However, the Indian diplomat did not reveal as to what concessions his country had offered in lieu of the present Chinese largesse?
However, just after the India’s top diplomat left Bejing, entered the Pakistan foreign minister Mr. Qureshi in China wherein he also met with FM Wang Yi.
Qureshi was in Beijing upon the completion of his Japan visit.
“China called on the international community to view Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts and contributions in an objective and fair manner and to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with Pakistan”, said a joint statement issued by the two countries (China and Pakistan), Wednesday April 24, 2019.
The Chinese Foreign Minister appreciated his Pakistani counterpart for the efforts being made by Pakistan to fight terrorism in and around South Asia.
Perhaps China was preparing a safe environment for Pakistan concurrently being ready to lift the “technical hold” at the United Nations Security Council. It was yet another show for the public consumption, however, China was almost convinced that now it was time to lift the hold at the UNSC as regards the Masood Azhar’s case.
Says Ralph Emmers May 2, 2019, in his twitter account that “with the Belt and Road Forum approaching on April 25, China decided that it was a good deal (?) While Pakistan Okayed the move…Beijing and Islamabad also calculated that the “listing” will place Pakistan at an advantage when the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) assesses its future.
And in exchange for Masood Azhar’s listing India have had to accept US sanctions on Iran and stop oil imports.
And now that Masood Azhar is a declared terrorist in the eyes of the United nations Security Council, India and the United States individually claim that this particular event could happen just only due to their intense diplomatic efforts which forced China to lift the veto power that kept for over a decade the Masood issue on “technical hold” in the UNSC.
India is beaming and claims that it was a personal victory of PM Modi who himself is a declared terrorist for the smaller neighbors of India. Nepali population takes PM Modi as a dreaded terrorist of the Prabhakaran order.
His first term in India have proved to be a disaster for the countries of the South Asian region. Nepal and Bhutan know better as to where and how this Feku Indian PM Modi pinches.
Nepal braved one of the most inhumane economic blockade in the recent decades imposed by the Hindu horror device led and summarily controlled by the RSS guerilla PM Modi.
His re-election, if per chance, shall bring immense trouble for the region, at least it is being taken in that light in Nepal’s academic circle. He will once again attack Nepal for some good reasons for having inched closer to China in the recent months.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the United Nations (UN) decision to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was a big success for India’s efforts to root out terrorism and proved that the country’s voice could no longer be ignored on the global stage, reports India Today May 2, 2019.
“Today is a day that would make every Indian proud! I thank the global community and all those who believe in humanitarian values for their support. India’s fight against terror will continue. We will work towards peace and brotherhood in our planet,” said a highly excited PM Modi said.
The Opposition parties in India too subscribe to what analyst Brahma Chellany says that it was just a symbolic victory. The fact is that much shall depend on Pakistan on how Islamabad treats now Masood Azhar opines Chellany.
It is said not for nothing that an educated enemy is far better than an uneducated friend.
Modi’s lap-dog media and his paid disciples in India claim that the Wuhan Spirit of 2017 brought miracles for India and that China honored this spirit under intense pressure from the developed Western countries.
Mind it that France has sold 36 Rafale fighter jets to India.
India and France entered into an agreement on Rafale deal in the year 2015 which brought about some sort of political storm of the FANI magnitude in India with the opposition claiming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “friends” but not the country had benefitted from the said pact.
So the French initiative taken on India’s behalf could well be easily understood. France thus has reasons to feel pleased with this development for which this country lobbied.
But why the US Administration is equally happy then?
Clearly, PM Modi and President Trump are on the same political wavelength. Modi is tentatively a trusted and tested man of President Trump in South Asia and more so the US has to rely on the Indian government for the cause of the success of the Indo-Pacific strategy.
In addition, on Iran matters both India and the US have common view points. India has stopped the Oil import from Iran as per the US instructions. However, Pakistan continues to have intimate ties with Iran as the Pak PM just last fortnight visited Tehran.
But how Pakistan balances its relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran shall test the diplomatic acumen of Islamabad. The test has already begun.
Moreover, since 2008, the US had all along been attempting to list Masood under the UNSC Resolution 1267, but every time its move was thwarted by China.
China resisted the listing of Masood at the request of Pakistan, which considered the move a political tool to equate the ongoing freedom struggle in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) with terrorism.
Just hours before the listing of Masood, a senior Pakistani official is reported to have explained as to why Pakistan and China finally withdrew its opposition.
“In the latest bid, Pakistan was able to convince the UNSC members to delink the listing of Masood from the Kashmir freedom movement. That was a major diplomatic victory,” the Pakistani foreign ministry official reiterated.
So all these put together, the US has reasons to be happy. And not to forget, China too doesn’t want to prolong its trade dispute with the US. This factor too could have been one of the prime reason.
However, this should not mean that the US has distanced itself with Pakistan. Instead, the US heavily relies on Pakistan to arrive at a peaceful solution to the Afghan crisis.
The Afghan born US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, was recently in Islamabad and is supposed to have made some progress to bring the Taliban and the Afghanistan government to the negotiating table for a permanent settlement.
The US needs Pakistan support in settling the Afghanistan crisis and PM Khan has assured the Chinese President that his country shall do all that could be done in order to bring back peace in Afghanistan.
The US diplomat Mr. Khalilzad has just the other day entered into the sixth round of talks with the hardline Islamist group in Qatar this week in a bid to end America’s longest war in Afghanistan.
In the recent days, Pakistan and the United States have agreed to remain engaged in the context of Afghan peace process and strengthening of bilateral ties.
The understanding came during delegation level talks between the two sides at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad on April 30, 2019. This means that the US in some way or the other is close to the Islamabad regime.
Okay China honored the Wuhan spirit but was it a free diplomatic lunch? Or is it yet another beginning of one time flop slogan Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai?
Most importantly, what is more than surprising is that why China preferred to oblige PM Modi when national level elections are being held in India in various phases?
The timing of the Chinese gesture is somewhat mysterious. Well, to some extent, it can be guessed that there was excessive pressure from the West and the US Administration on behalf of India.
But was this pressure alone sufficient to melt China-the super power in waiting, to yield so easily?
But it doesn’t need to be a man of high intellect to understand the possible reasons for the benevolent Chinese gesture.
The Chinese extended the olive branch to India, firstly and most significantly, immediately after the Pakistan Prime Minister returned to his home country attending the second belt and Road Forum held in Beijing. This means that China lifted the ban by convincing Pakistan when PM Khan was in Beijing. When both agreed then China took this “India pleasing” decision though the talks were already in progress much ahead of all these events.
PM Khan too has said that for Pakistan’s own good, terrorists’ organizations need to be eliminated once and for all.
And very freshly, PM Khan is supposed to have sent one letter to the Indian Prime Minister wherein Khan told his Indian counterpart that “dialogue” need to be resumed between India and Pakistan.
PM Khan wrote a letter in response to a congratulatory message sent to Imran Khan by PM Modi on the occasion of Pakistan’s national day celebrations.
Both China and Pakistan shall benefit from the fresh political overture. A moderate India is both in the interest of China and Pakistan for multiple-political reasons.
Notably, China’s fresh gesture may force India to reconsider or even ignore its tough stand on the Belt and Road initiative simply because India takes the China Pakistan Economic Corridor to be a conglomeration of infrastructure projects meant to deepen economic ties between China and Pakistan which in the process ignores India’s sovereignty.
India distaste with the CPEC is also due to the fact that Pakistan is all set to become a “game changer” in this part of greater South and the Central Asia and much beyond.
More so since the CPEC connects China’s largest province Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Baluchistan and thus the CPEC is not acceptable to India primarily because it passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, thereby violating India’s territorial integrity. This is what India claims.
It is this reason that has not allowed India to join the BR initiative-the brain child of rival China.
Now with this concession awarded to India by China on the issue of Masood Azhar, India is likely not to create hurdles by raising its sovereignty issues.
(India at the moment has gulped some sixty thousand hectares of Nepali land mass. Isn’t it a matter of shame for India?)
China for sure needs a safe and uninterrupted passage to the Gwadar port and thus China has hardened its stance on Masood Azhar that suits to the Indian taste.
This perhaps explains how the things may have progressed as regards the issue that lists Masood Ajhar as an international terrorist. Diplomatic undercurrents are high in South Asia at the moment including China.
Nepali observers claim that India may have awarded the Doklam area to the mercy of China in lieu of Massod Azhar being listed as an International terrorist.
Utilizing the BR Forum in Beijing, the Pak Prime Minister had held separate meetings with the IMF chief Christine Lagarde and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva Friday April 27, 2019, and had discussed with the two dignitaries on the cash-strapped country’s efforts to tide over the financial woes.
This meeting too must have some connections with China agreeing to assist the West in listing Ajhar Masood as international terrorist thereby defusing the Indian distaste that it has for the Belt and Road Initiative-the flagship project of President Xi Jinping.
And China did it for Pakistan to save its regional iron brother from being further grilled by the West, the US and more so nearer home by the Indian regime.
The IMF and World Bank have now reasons to take Pakistan in good faith. The IMF may now release the money as demanded by Pakistan to ease its financial crisis.
The presence of the Russian President in China to attend the Belt and Road Forum may also have provided a suitable opportunity for the Pakistan Prime Minister to forge intimate relations with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the news that the Russian President is all set to visit Pakistan next month does tell that a new axis comprising Pakistan-China-Russia (CPR) is in the offing.
This axis if it comes into existence then CPR conglomerate would emerge as a formidable force which shall determine the course of world politics in the days ahead. And in a way the power balance will also be maintained.
The impending visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pakistan will be meaningful so said scholars in Islamabad May 2, 2019, at a seminar wherein they urged for further cementing Pak-Russia relations with an economic overview, calling for adopting a pattern of China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has provided a new impetus to Pak-China relations.
The scholars opined that interaction with Pakistan in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as a full-fledged member, is very important for Russia to carry out cross-regional economic, energy and infrastructure projects.
During the visit of President Putin to Pakistan, according to Russian and Pakistani Media sources Pakistan has shown its keen interest for buying $9 Billion worth of Defense hardware.
It may include Russian MIG-35 Jet Fighters, MI-26T2 Heavy weight lift helicopters, Naval Ships, Air Defense System and much more. But none of Pakistani Officials rejected the media claim yet makes it more clear this Defense deal will be done in next few months. If this so happens then Pakistan shall have two friendly countries to buy weapons: from China and Russia.
Pakistan is both the political and nuclear deterrent in South Asia.
The creation of a China-Pakistan-Russia axis is in the offing. The global population shall feel secured with the emerging CPR triangle. That’s all