Yi Jian, our special correspondent in India
The 1267 Committee of the United Nations Security Council is yet to reach a consensus after expiry of the technical hold on the question of the armed group Jaish-E-Mohamed leader, Masood’s name being included in the sanctions list. On the 2nd November, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed the news, fuelling India’s ire against China. The Times of India reported on the 3rd that India and the United States are considering further options to pierce China’s “terrorist shield”.
In his press conference of November 3rd, the spokesman of Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Raveesh Kumar said, “I think the decision by one country to block a consensus should not be seen as an end to counter terrorism efforts. What is important is it does not in any way take away our resolve to fight terrorism, it does not in any way take away our resolve to work with like-minded countries
(who are coming together increasingly to end the scourge of terrorism). “The Times of India” said that Kumar’s statement was aimed at China. He said that India had raised this issue at the highest level of the Chinese government. A day earlier, Kumar issued a more scathing statement* on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India. The Indian Express reported that India said it was “extremely disappointed” at the Chinese decision, accusing it of being “short-sighted” and “counterproductive”.
While expressing dissatisfaction, India began to think about other ways. “India Express” reported that Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Trump had agreed that Indian and American officials will conduct the first dialogue on counter-terrorism cooperation in December, when the question of naming of Masood will be taken up. A source said: “we will follow up on the agreement reached with Secretary of State, Tillerson to advance the matter further.” According to the “Times of India”, India also wants to find a solution to the question of listing of other terrorists supported by Pakistani intelligence agencies. It has US support in the 1267 Committee of the Security Council. For example, Masood’s brother could be the next to be placed on the list of sanctions.
As to naming of Masood, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has stated its position more than once that the Chinese side has put it on technical hold for the purpose of giving the Committee’s deliberations more time for further consultations between the parties concerned and for maintaining the authority and effectiveness of the Committee. The Committee still has different views on this issue at this moment. China will continue to maintain communication and coordination with all parties based on the Security Council Resolution and the Rules of Procedure of the 1267 Committee.
On the 3rd, the Press Trust of India reported that following the(ir) obstruction of Masood’s name, China said it has already prepared for working with India to jointly push for uninterrupted progress of bilateral relations. The report said Chen Xiaodong, Assistant to China’s Foreign Minister, said that China values its relations with India and stressed China’s unrelenting efforts to promote bilateral relations. The Indian PTI, citing informed sources in Beijing, disclosed that Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to visit India next month to participate in the trilateral gathering of Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia. At that time, the Chinese and Indian sides will discuss bilateral relations in the next phase.
* N.B. The reference was perhaps to the following, which has not been reported in any of the Chinese dailies. official or quasi-official:
“Official Spokesperson’s response to queries on the decision by China to block consensus on the listing of Masood Azhar” (http://www.mea.gov.in/media-briefings.htm?dtl/29083/Official+Spokespersons+response+to+queries+on+the+decision+by+China+to+block+consensus+on+the+listing+of+Masood+Azhar )
November 02, 2017
In response to queries on the decision by China to block consensus on the listing of Masood Azhar as an internationally designated terrorist under the UNSCR 1267 Committee, the Official Spokesperson said:
“We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of UN-designated terrorist organization, Masood Azhar. India strongly believes that double standards and selective approaches will only undermine the international community’s resolve to combat terrorism. We can only hope that there will be a realization that accommodating with terrorism for narrow objectives is both short sighted and counter productive.”