Narendra Modi government’s much fancied diplomatic offensive to corner Pakistan on harbouring Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is set to get another rebuff at the United Nations. According to sources, China could once for all force the world body to drop the move by New Delhi to list Azhar and Jaish under the Resolution 1267 of the UN Security Council.
Since there is a provision for the matter to be taken up after three months of it being vetoed, it’s likely to come up again towards the end of this month. Twice earlier during the year, the Himalayan neighbour had vetoed the move to list Jaish and Azhar, making it clear its strategic preferences in South Asia and there is no visible change in their stance.
Despite the matter having been taken up at the highest level, including by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his bilateral discussions with President Xi Jingping, New Delhi has failed to cut much ice with Beijing. Earlier this week, China’s foreign office in a statement said that there hasn’t been any change on its stand vis-à-vis New Delhi’s move to get Jaish and Azhar listed under resolution 1267. Prime Minister Modi has taken up the matter with the Chinese leader on at least three occasions.
Since the UN rules state that the permanent member country vetoing the move could also demand dropping the matter permanently on the third occasion, China can well push for the world body to drop the issue permanently. According to sources, with China certain to go ahead with the veto, the issue of listing Azhar and Jaish could get scrapped permanently, pushing back the diplomatic counter to Pak-sponsored terrorism by several years.
The UN Security Council Resolution1267, adopted in 1999, had established a sanctions regime to cover “individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.” India has been trying to get Jaish and Azhar listed under this resolution to bring pressure on Pakistan, where Azhar is based.
Experts point out that another such move by New Delhi at the UN Security Council had come to a naught in 2009 when Britain in association with China had got the move rejected on technical grounds. Thereafter it took over six years to bring the matter back in the Security Council. Pakistan, however, has succeeded in thwarting the move so far with aide and assistance from China.