India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale will be on a two-day China visit from Sunday to meet Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi where he is likely to discuss the issue of blacklisting of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar at a UN panel.
Gokhale will be visiting China for regular consultation and is scheduled to meet Wang on Monday, an official at the Indian Embassy said in Beijing.
Gokhale’s visit comes ahead of the second edition of China’s Belt and Road forum next week, Beijing’s biggest diplomatic event, which India is likely to skip over the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Earlier this week, top diplomatic sources had said that China was set to lift its technical hold on the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the 1267 sanctions committee of the UN Security Council in early May.
Sources said China has “more or less” decided not to come in the way of black-listing the Pakistan-based JeM chief as a global ultra, which would virtually cripple the activities of his terror outfit. China is also said to be in touch with the US in this regard.
Beijing is believed to have already conveyed to Pakistan its decision not to continue blocking the listing of Azhar by the 1267 sanctions committee that aims to impose strictures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.
Earlier this month, China had said that it was willing to have a dialogue with India to find a solution to issue of listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC.
There have been four attempts through a UN sanctions committee to add Azhar to the blacklist. China blocked three previous requests and put a technical hold on the latest one, which could last up to nine months.
Frustrated by China’s repeated blocking of the moves to ban Azhar, the US recently directly moved a resolution in the UNSC to designate the JeM chief as a global terrorist, much to the discomfiture of China. Beijing had accused the US of bypassing the 1267 sanctions committee.
Meanwhile, India has planned to boycott the second Belt and Road Forum. Leaders from 40 countries including Pakistan and delegations from over 100 countries, international organisations and corporate sector would participate in the event.
The USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has been officially designated as a flagship project of the BRI, has become a stumbling block for India to take part in it as the controversial project is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
India has already protested to China over the CPEC violating its sovereignty and boycotted the first BRF held in 2017.