NSA Doval likely to raise Masood Azhar issue with China during visit

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2016 14:04 IST
File photo of JeM chief Masood Azhar. Indian NSA Ajit Doval is expected to take up the issue of China blocking India’s bid at UN to designate JeM chief a terrorist when he travels to Beijing in mid-April. (AP)

National security adviser Ajit Doval is expected to raise the issue of China blocking India’s bid to have Pakistan-based JeM’s chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the United Nations, during his visit to the neighbouring country next week.

Doval will broach the subject when he meets his counterpart and state councillor Yang Jiechi for a strategic dialogue, top government sources said on Saturday.

The security adviser was scheduled to hold this dialogue in January but cancelled his visit in wake of the Pathankot terror attack. The two sides are also expected to discuss border issues, among others.

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

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to raise the issue with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, when the two meet on the sidelines of a trilateral talk in Moscow on April 18.

Earlier this week, foreign secretary S Jaishankar said India has taken up the issue of Beijing vetoing a terror tag on the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader by the UN at a “fairly high level” with China, but assured that it would not “overflow” into other areas of bilateral ties.

China had stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as a terrorist last week. It maintained that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council.

Read | In touch with India on the issue of JeM chief Masood Azhar’s ban: China

This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts to have sanctions slapped on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack did not fructify as China, which enjoys veto power, did not allow so at the behest of Pakistan.

About recent comments by Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit, who indicated that Indian investigators may not be allowed to visit Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack, the government sources said results would be seen soon and one should “wait and watch”.

“The Indian position is good on this subject,” the sources said.

India had responded to Basit’s comments saying that both sides had agreed that investigation would be on the basis of reciprocity much before Pakistani Joint Investigation Team’s visit.

Read | NIA court issues arrest warrant against Azhar, India to approach Pak

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