China’s UN veto this week to prevent Pakistan’s Masood Azhar from being designated as a global terrorist was anticipated by the US, France and UK who moved the resolution in the Security Council.
China had blocked the move three times in the past to please Pakistan that backs Azhar and the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) which he heads.
While expressing its disappointment over the veto, India, which was often targeted by JeM terrorists, did not mention China. Maybe, New Delhi wanted to avoid a war of words and is planning a diplomatic offensive against Beijing at two levels.
India can pursue a new UN route to force China accept Azhar as a global terrorist.
First, in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, above, by JeM on Feb 14, India can persuade US to ask other 14 Council members to state objections, if any, in designating Azhar as a global terrorist. China will then have to explain why it is shielding Azhar.
Second, the Council members can meet behind closed doors and confront China with questions on Azhar.
Third, the Council could telecast their public meeting live to show the world where China stands on terrorism. It can then ask for a vote on blacklisting Azhar and force China to approve the ban.
France and Germany are likely to propose a plan to blacklist Azhar before other EU countries. When the pressure of EU sanctions mounts on Pakistan, China may try to help its all-weather ally by lifting its veto on Azhar.
Over the years, China has been trying to isolate India in South Asia by winning over countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan by funding their infrastructure projects.
India should try to isolate China internationally if that country continues to support Pakistan and the Azhars who are plotting terror attacks in India.
In this diplomatic offensive, India needs more support from Russia with whom China maintains warm ties.
Latest reports from the UN indicate that China may be willing to support the proposed ban on Azhar if the Security Council is willing to make changes in how Azhar should be designated. Maybe, China wants the proposed designation of ‘global terrorist’ to be replaced by a milder term.