Once Again, China Refuses To Tow India Line On Masood

New Delhi: Hours after keeping the Indian establishment and the media guessing, China finally reacted to the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama on Thursday, but its stand with regards to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar remained unchanged. JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack, the gravest since insurgency rocked the Kashmir valley. Condemning the attack, Beijing said: “China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families.”

But when asked about China’s stand on listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told the media that, “As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of terrorist organizations.”

“As to the listing of an individual, we have always upheld an earnest, responsible and professional manner,” he said.

India had, last evening appealed to all members of the international community to “support the proposal to list terrorists, including JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a designated terrorist under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council and to ban terrorist organisations operating from territories controlled by Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the attack a matter of “grave concern”. But in a brief statement, it added, “We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations.”

During the day, India stepped up its diplomatic efforts to isolate Pakistan at the diplomatic level. Envoys from United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France and China were apprised about Pakistan’s role in sponsoring terror, media reports said. US, the UK, Russia and France have asserted that they stand with India in combating the menace of terrorism. The government also summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner, Sohail Mahmood and sources say a very strong demarche or diplomatic protest was lodged.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security and said that India will give a befitting response to Pakistan.

The Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria, has also been called to Delhi for consultations by the government.

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