China defends blocking India's bid for UN ban on Masood Azhar, says no one should pursue 'political gains in name of counter-terrorism'

India has been pressing for the UN ban against Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar over his role in the Pathankot terror attack. 

China defends blocking India's bid for UN ban on Masood Azhar, says no one should pursue 'political gains in name of counter-terrorism'
File photo

Beijing: Days after preventing a United Nations ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, China on Monday said that no one should pursue 'political gains in the name of counter-terrorism'.

Briefing media ahead of President Xi Jinping's visit to India this week to take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa, China's Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, however, added: "China is opposed to all forms of terrorism".

Replying to a question on criticism about China's move to stall India's bid for a UN ban on Azhar, Li, in a veiled reference to India, said: "There should be no double standards on counter-terrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counter-terrorism."

Last week also, China had defended its second technical hold on attempts to ban Azhar, saying there were "different views" on India's application.

Reacting to India's criticism that its action sends a dangerous message, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that the listing application member states submitted to the 1267 Committee of UN "must comply" with specific requirements of relevant resolutions of UN Security Council (UNSC).

Though China is the lone member among the 15-member UNSC to oppose the ban on Azhar, Beijing had claimed that "different views" existed about India's application against Azhar.

China had put the first technical hold six months ago on India's application following Azhar's alleged involvement in the Pathankot terrorist attack.

China had extended the second technical hold valid for three months during last week despite several consultations between New Delhi and Beijing at various levels.

It is expected to figure again during the expected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit to be held in Goa from October 15-16.

Without naming China, India's External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on October 6 that only one country had put the technical hold and criticised the completely "non-transparent and anonymous" manner of designating individuals by the UN Sanctions Committee.

India has been highlighting the cross-border terror threat emanating from Pakistan and tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad are on the rise since last month's Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir which killed 19 Indian soldiers.

Xi will travel to Goa to attend the BRICS Summit scheduled to held between October 15-16. The BRICS grouping consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.

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