Beijing, Feb 10 (IANS) Two days after China again blocked an attempt to ban Jaish-e-Mohamed chief Masood Azhar in the UN, an influential Chinese daily said on Thursday that India, “under the defence of its counter-terrorism crusade”, could step up military pressure on Pakistan, which would risk escalating tensions between the two arch-rivals.
Defending China’s latest veto to have Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar — mastermind of the Pathankot airbase terror attack last year — declared as an international terrorist, the Global Times said that India had its own reasons to push against the militant.
“India has its own reasons to have Azhar listed as a terrorist. However, observers are also worried that under the defence of the counter-terrorism crusade, India can increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking escalating tensions between the two countries,” it said.
The editorial in the newspaper lamented that Indian media accused China of adopting double standard because Beijing had rejected India’s proposal to add Azhar to the UN list of international terrorists.
It said Beijing did so because India failed to provide concrete evidence against Azhar.
On Tuesday, China blocked a US proposal to get Azhar listed as an international terrorist. Last year, Beijing thrice rejected India’s proposal for the same, frustrating New Delhi.
The issue is one of the irritants in the India-China relationship.
However, the editorial said China was willing to work with India to combat terrorism, but peace and stability will always be its priority
“The India-Pakistan feud has been a thorny issue in South Asia for a long time and China is caught in the middle, given geographic and geopolitical proximities to the two.”
“The failure to bring the two on the path to peace underscores their different domestic and diplomatic trajectories. Any action the UN takes should assist the peace process rather than escalate tensions between the two.”
“However, observers are also worried that under the defence of the counterterrorism crusade, India can increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking escalating tensions between the two countries.
“Chinese analysts said they believe India did not provide enough evidence to support its proposals, as evidence is required not only because of the need to maintain the UN’s authority, but also because of the complexities in the region.
“What is troublesome is some Indian media view China with prejudice and overly interpret China’s moves, especially after China and Pakistan hastened the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“As a responsible power, China must help maintain regional order. Any India-Pakistan confrontation may bring other players into the region, which would complicate the situation.”
“China supports India’s efforts at curbing terrorism. India can work more to bring all the parties to reach a consensus over the issue, instead of only blaming China for its failed attempts.”
“China is aware that the terrorism issue is a burning one, and has been trying to work with all stakeholders to crack down on terrorists in the region. China has also set up anti-terror mechanisms with India in this regard. In the future, China will enhance anti-terror cooperation with India, but regional peace and stability will always be a priority,” it wrote.