International

India, China argue over Masood Azhar

India has conveyed its disappointment to China after its move to add Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, to > an international blacklist of terrorists faced Chinese opposition at the UN, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Wednesday

“We have taken up the issue with the Chinese at a fairly high level and we will continue to pursue this with them. We will have to wait and see where this goes,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

India accused J-e-M of masterminding the January attack on the Pathankot air base, and had requested that Azhar be added to the U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al-Qaeda or Islamic State, > but China objected it.

Mr. Jaishankar, however, added that the issue will remain limited between India and China at the UN and will not “overflow into other areas”.

Mr. Jaishankar’s statement received quick response from officials at the Chinese Embassy. “We agree with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea that there should be no discrimination when dealing with terrorists. But when it comes to naming who is a terrorist, we need more discussion at the international level,” said Liu Jinsong of the Chinese embassy at an event in the University of Delhi.

Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng said on Tuesday that Beijing had not dismissed India’s move to bring a ban on Azhar. “We felt that the information provided by India to the UN was inadequate, that is why we placed a ‘technical hold’— a temporary measure,” Mr. Le said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Le has been called back to Beijing reportedly for a major position in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Le, who is expected to return to Beijing on April 10, becomes the third Chinese Ambassador in recent years being called back after short tenures. His immediate predecessor, Wei Wei, was called back days before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to China in 2014, due to a corruption scam. Prior to that, ambassador Sun Yuxi exited following a controversial TV interview in 2006.

PTI adds...

‘Azhar conducted recruitment drive in the U.K.’

Maulana Masood Azhar was allowed to preach extremist ideology at several British mosques during a month-long visit to U.K. in August 1993 on the invitation of Islamist scholars when young Muslims were asked to seek weapons training at terrorist camps in Pakistan.

Senior representatives of the Deobandi sect, which controls nearly half of Britain’s 1,600 mosques, hosted Azhar during the visit in which hundreds of young Muslims were urged to seek weapons training at terrorist camps in Pakistan, according to a BBC investigation.

Azhar was chief organiser of the Pakistani jihadist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in early 90s. According to the report, during his U.K. tour — until now kept under wraps — Azhar delivered “sermons on jihad” to large audiences in London, Birmingham, Yorkshire and Lancashire. Shortly before his arrival, Azhar had helped supply Osama bin Laden, then in Sudan, with 400 jihadist fighters to wage attacks in Somalia.


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 7:09:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/India-China-argue-over-Masood-Azhar/article14222738.ece

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