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India raises blacklisting of Masood Azhar with China

New Delhi/Beijing, April 22, 2019-

India has shared with China “all evidences” of the terrorist activities of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and its chief Masood Azhar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in New Delhi on Monday as Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale held talks with the Chinese leadership in Beijing.

Gokhale is on a two-day visit to Beijing where he met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and told him that Beijing needed to be “sensitive” to New Delhi’s concerns.

“We have shared with China all evidences of the terrorist activities of Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee (of the UN Security Council) and other authorised bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar (as international terrorist),” the MEA spokesperson said.

He was responding to queries on the discussions that Gokhale held in Beijing with regard to proscribing of Azhar. Gokhale is understood to have made attempts to convince Wang Yi not to block a resolution to declare Azhar an international terrorist at a UN panel.

China has been blocking India’s move to enlist Azhar as an international terrorist, which is supported by countries like the US, the UK and France at the UN Security Council.

This has soured China’s ties with India where Azhar is wanted for plotting deadly terror attacks. Azhar heads the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF personnel on February 14.

JeM has been responsible for a number of terror attacks in India over the last two decades, including the one on the Parliament on December 13, 2001. There has been an increased pitch for proscribing Azhar in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

Last month, Beijing placed its latest “technical hold”, for the fourth time, on a US-sponsored resolution against Azhar, a move that India called “disappointing”.

“India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice,” the MEA spokesperson said.

Gokhale, in his opening remarks during his meeting with Wang and Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said China should be “sensitive” to India’s concerns.

“We will work together with the Chinese side to deepen mutual understanding and strengthen mutual trust to implement the decisions that are taken by the leaders and do it in a manner where we are sensitive to each other’s concerns,” Gokhale said.

Gokhale, who was earlier India’s Ambassador to China, said both sides were working to implement what was agreed between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Wuhan summit last year.

“It’s been a year since our leaders met in Wuhan and my colleagues, Vice (Foreign) Minister Kong Xuanyou and I have been following up on efforts to see that to implement the understandings that were reached at the meeting.

“Last year, we had very brisk political exchanges including your visit to Delhi for the first high-level meeting for people to people exchange which was an important development. And my Minister (Foreign) looks forward to coming for the second meeting in China later this year,” he added.

Wang, on his part, stressed the need for India and China to step up strategic communication and cooperation.

“China and India are two major countries and neighbours. They are also two emerging market countries and are each other’s emerging partners.

“In this sense, it’s very important for the two countries to work together to increase strategic communication, geopolitical trust and strategic cooperation on international and regional issues,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, the MEA has said that both sides have reviewed the progress made in bilateral relations since the Wuhan summit between Modi and Xi Jinping in April 2018.

“They discussed the agenda for bilateral engagement in the coming months. The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues,” it said.

During his visit, Gokhale also met another Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Le Yucheng.  (Agency)

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