At the United Nations Sanctions Committee meeting on Tuesday, India had sought a clarification from Pakistan over the release of the 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. However, this proposal was blocked by representatives from China, who said that New Delhi had provided “insufficient information” pertaining to the proposal against Pakistan. Beijing blocked New Delhi’s bid to seek a response from Islamabad on the release of a known terrorist, despite an agreement between both the Indian and the Chinese government over greater cooperation towards fighting terror. In fact, since December 2014, India’s Permanent Mission in the United Nations has been filing separate proposals on many Pakistan-based <g data-gr-id="32">terrorist</g>.
On each occasion, however, these proposals have been either delayed or stopped by China. In response to Beijing’s latest rebuff, New Delhi has taken up the issue with the Chinese government at the “highest level”. The UN sanctions committee consists of all five permanent member-states and 10 non-members. As per a news report, with the exception of China, which is a permanent member, all the other nations had backed India’s proposal. For those unaware, Lakhvi is a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, accused of orchestrating the Mumbai terror attacks.
Lakhvi’s release has understandably left New Delhi miffed. Earlier this year, Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs had said, “The overwhelming evidence against Lakhvi has not been presented properly before the court by Pakistani agencies”. India had also summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to convey its displeasure. Lakhvi’s release from prison is the latest in a long line of wilful ignorance, botched internal security strategies, perfidies and double speak by Pakistan on the issue of home-grown terror. These foolish machinations on Pakistan’s part ultimately culminated in the gruesome attack in Peshawar where scores of school going children were ruthlessly massacred in broad daylight.
China’s manoeuvres in the United Nations, however, must be seen in the context of its decision to heavily invest in Pakistan’s infrastructure and industrial base. In April, Chinese President Xi Jinping had visited Islamabad to sign agreements worth $46 billion on energy and infrastructure projects to be built along an “economic corridor” between China’s western province of Xinjiang and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port. Strategic experts have contended that this “economic corridor” will give China quicker access to markets in Europe and the Middle East. This corridor, however, passes through one of Pakistan’s most volatile areas, i.e. the Balochistan province.
The area has been home to Pakistan’s longest running insurgency, which has witnessed brutal attacks on its administration and armed forces. In light of these circumstances, one can safely assume that the Chinese authorities do not want to get involved in India’s acrimonious relationship with Pakistan. China also doesn’t want to ruffle Pakistan’s delicate military-intelligence-civilian administration complex. India has long maintained that the LeT is supported by Pakistan’s military and its spy agency, the ISI. Although Islamabad continues to deny these claims, evidence from the 26/11 attacks <g data-gr-id="35">seem</g> to suggest <g data-gr-id="36">involvement</g> of its military and intelligence agencies. Pakistan, therefore, continues to turn a blind eye towards home-grown terror.