India on Monday shared with China all the evidence in its possession about the terror activities of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and its leader Masood Azhar with a view to persuading Beijing to lift its technical hold on the listing of the JeM chief as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, who is on a visit to Beijing for regular diplomatic consultations between the two countries, held talks with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and also called on Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“We have shared all the evidence of terrorist activities of JeM and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorised bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar. 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,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said when asked about Gokhale’s discussions with his Chinese interlocutors.
China is believed to have assured India that it was looking into its demand for lifting the technical hold on blacklisting the JeM chief at the UN.
Indications are that China would lift its technical hold at the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UNSC in early May, thus meeting one of India’s main demands. The move would give a major blow to the terror activities of the Pakistan-based JeM, which has masterminded a series of attacks in India, including the Pulwama attack.
Apart from the Masood Azhar issue, India and China reviewed the progress in bilateral relations since the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held in Wuhan in April last year and discussed the agenda for bilateral engagement in the coming months. They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest, including the Indo-Pacific.
During his meetings, Gokhale told his Chinese interlocutors that the two countries, as they go forward, should remain “sensitive to each other’s concerns”.
Gokhale’s visit is significant since it came days before China hosts the 2nd Belt and Road Forum which will be attended by top leaders from more than 30 countries, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
India has decided to boycott the summit again because of its opposition to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), on the ground that it runs through the Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan.