Love thy neighbour: Chinese diplomat’s response to Masood Azhar issue

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2016 21:31 IST
China has put a hold on India’s request to add the head of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to the United Nations’ al Qaeda-Islamic State blacklist. (AFP File Photo)

A senior Chinese official said on Wednesday there was a need for more evidence from India for a United Nations ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar.

Liu Jinsong, deputy chief of mission and minister at the Chinese embassy, justified China’s action on India’s bid against the Pakistan-based terrorist and said his country can’t decide who is right and who is wrong on the issue.

Last week, China stopped the UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council. This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

Read: India takes up JeM leader Masood Azhar’s UN case with China

India accused Azhar of masterminding the fatal attack on the Pathankot airbase in January. India had requested that JeM chief be added to a UN Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, but China objected.

“At the UN, this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss (on the issue), we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries.

“Pakistan is not your enemy right? It’s your brothers, it’s your neighbour. It is a nation (born) from one nation. You were one family before. You can’t move neighbours. And you can have a new boyfriend or a girlfriend tomorrow, but you can’t have your neighbours changed,” Liu said when asked about the Chinese action.

Read: ‘Don’t target Chinese firms over Masood Azhar, India will lose out’

“Pakistan says India’s position is not good for them, it is against Pakistan. But India says its position is in its national interest. China can’t be the judge (to decide) who is right, who is wrong. With Pakistan, we are good friends. With India, we are also good friends,” said Liu.

“We can’t be on any side. We can’t stick to one side. We can’t veto, we can’t (remain) absent. Only thing we can do is (to put it on a) technical hold,” he added.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent comment that there cannot be any distinction between good and bad terrorists, he said China endorses the view and complimented him for trying to improve ties with Pakistan.

“Our view is Prime Minister Modi’s view... There is no good or bad terrorists. So there should not be any kind of double standard.

Read: Govt rethinks security nod to Chinese firms after snub on Masood Azhar

“At the UN this is a very serious issue. We need to discuss, we need some kind of understanding from the related countries, concerned countries,” the official said, adding “we are very pleased to say that Prime Minister Modi tried to do his best to improve relations with Pakistan. We like our two neighbours-- India and Pakistan.”

Liu said India and Pakistan must engage in talks.

“We always tell our Indian friends (that) if you mention something related to Pakistan then why don’t you have some bilateral talks. You can have some agreement, you can have some close door argument,” he said.

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