New Delhi: At a time when the world community is increasingly seeing Pakistan as a sponsor of home-grown terrorism, some in China appear busy making a case to absolve it of its sins. In a commentary published in the state-owned Global Times on Wednesday, yet another pitch was made to deflect blame from Pakistan by stating that India needs to look within when it comes to terrorism.
Even as evidence of terrorism emanating from Pakistan has been repeatedly put forth by India, the commentary says it was incorrect for external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to connect terrorism with Pakistan during her speech at the United Nations last month. "It is inappropriate for Swaraj to connect terrorism with Pakistan. A global consensus has emerged that terrorism should not be linked to nationality or religion. For example, Al Qaeda has bases in Afghanistan, however, countries including the US do not term Afghanistan a terrorist country," reads the article.
For the record, there is a big push within the United States to deem Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, with politicians like Ted Poe calling out Pakistan's bluff of being a victim. In fact, the Donald Trump administration has repeatedly warned Pakistan to act against terror emanating from its soil.
Instead, the article on the Chinese news website seeks to highlight how Maoists in India's north-eastern states should be a bigger concern. It then goes on to term terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir as 'Kashmiri militants' and implies they function independent of directives from Pakistan. "After the 9/11 attacks, out of the need for India's cooperation on anti-terrorism, the US pressured Pakistan to withdraw its support for Kashmir's anti-India militant groups, some of which were listed as terrorist organizations by Washington," it reads.
"Nevertheless, these organizations are not directly controlled by the Pakistani government, and do not stop their attacks on India."
Ironically, the report was published on the same day as when a Pakistani Interior Secretary, who was expected to bring documents related to terrorist Hafiz Saeed's house arrest, failed to appear before a Lahore court - prompting the judiciary to warn that the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief could be released if evidence against him were not submitted. For the record once again, the US had already sanctioned JuD as a terror outfit earlier this year, but JuD - and Hafiz who masterminded the Mumbai attacks - continues to harbour political aspirations within Pakistan.
China though in recent days has also expressed a desire to work together with India towards development. Its ambassador in New Delhi said last week that the two countries must 'dance together' and on Tuesday, Chinese media hailed defence minister Niramala Sitharaman's gesture to interact with Chinese soldiers in Nathu La.