Washington, Sept 17: At the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, the top priorities of New Delhi include: pushing for ban on Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar, who heads the militant outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad; and securing a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
Both bids of India, being pursued in a rejuvenated manner after Narendra Modi came to power, have been stalled due to the adverse role played by China. Beijing has not only raised apprehensions over India’s plea to be included as a permanent member in the UNSC, but also blocked the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar among the globally banned terrorists.
For New Delhi, a glimmer of hope emerges from China’s recent softening of stance at the BRICS meet in Xiamen. The joint declaration issued by the five-nation group, which included Beijing as a signatory, mentions Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Toiba as threat to the region, along with the West Asia-based extremist groups including ISIS, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and Taliban.
With JeM being recognised as a terror outfit by China, Indian diplomats are hopeful that Beijing would find less ground to oppose the listing of the group’s leader Masood Azhar among the internationally recognised terrorist.
New Delhi’s proposal at the previous UN General Assembly meet was vetoed by China. On August 3, Beijing, exercising its power as UNSC’s permanent member, extended the technical hold on India’s ban bid against Azhar by an additional three months.
Expressing disappointment over Beijing’s response towards the issue so far, India’s permanent envoy to UN, Syed Akbaruddin said, “Many countries are with us except one (China). Only that one country is coming in way of declaring Masood Azhar a global designated terrorist at the UN.”
Akbaruddin confirmed that the issue would be raised by India at the UN General Assembly which begins on Tuesday. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to address the session on Friday.
On India’s bid to be accommodated as a permanent member of the UNSC, China is expected to continue with its line of argument, highlighting New Delhi’s non-signatory status with the non-proliferation treaty (NPT). India, along with its warring neighbour Pakistan, are yet to sign the treaty, which commits to nuclear disarmament.
China, while stating its objection to India’s inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) last year, said India should adopt a “two-step procedure” to become a part of the elite nuclear trading group. It said New Delhi should become a signatory to NPT, while seeking membership in the NSG.
“The international community should take a collective and considerable view of the applications of both India and Pakistan,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.