China has blocked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from designating the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, as a global terrorist on March 14. This is not at all surprising for India or for the world, as this has happened for the fourth time since 2009.
The proposal of listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist has been mooted for four times now. In 2009, under United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, India was the lone proposer in UNSC against Azhar. Then in 2016, India’s proposal was co- sponsored by United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and France. For the third time, that is, in 2017, US, UK and France moved the proposal for India. US, France and UK, again forwarded the proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist in the UNSC, this year as well, which was supported by 14 of 15 UNSC members except China. The proposal was also backed by some of the non UNSC members like Australia, Bangladesh, Italy and Japan, which marked unprecedented unity against terrorism.
UK, US and France, which are amongst the permanent members of the UNSC, had filed a plea in the UNSC on February 27, days after the JeM attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy, killing about 44 CRPF soldiers, on Srinagar-Jammu highway, in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The P-3 countries (UK, US & France) wanted Masood Azhar to be declared a global terrorist under the 1267 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of UNSC. “We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement. The statement also read, “We 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.”
Meanwhile, India’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Syed Akbaruddin, took to Twitter and expressed gratitude to those who supported India in this move.
“Big, Small & Many… 1 big state holds up, again… 1 small signal @UN against terror. Grateful to the many states – big & small – who in unprecedented numbers, joined as co-sponsors of the effort.” tweeted Akbaruddin on March 13.
Big,Small & Many…
1 big state holds up, again …
1 small signal @UN against terror
Grateful to the many states – big & small – who in unprecedented numbers, joined as co-sponsors of the effort. 🙏🏽
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) March 13, 2019
Amidst all this which was happening globally, leaders of opposition parties across India began backlashing at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government on twitter.
Congress party president, Rahul Gandhi, said that PM Modi is scared of President of China, Xi Jinping. “Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NoMo’s China Diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat 2. Hug Xi in Delhi 3. Bow to Xi in China”, tweeted Rahul Gandhi, on March 14.
Reacting to the tweet, Union Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, came up with a series of tweets on his handle. He questioned Rahul Gandhi about the absence of his tweets and comments when the same thing happened in 2009.
“During UPA Govt in 2009, China had raised the same objection in efforts to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist. Did Rahul Gandhi make any Tweet or comment on that at that time?” tweeted Ravi Shankar Prasad, in response to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet.
“Why is Rahul Gandhi in a celebratory mood when India is pained by the actions of China in case of Masood Azhar? His Tweet will become headlines in Pakistan.” added the series of tweets by Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“One always knew BJP is a party of supreme liars, Ravi Shankar Prasadji proved it yet again! Nehru didn’t keep India out of UNSC or reject Kennedy offer, it is just rhetoric” National Spokesperson for Congress, Priyanka Chaturvedi, reacted to Ravi Shankar Prasad’s tweet.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, acknowledged Priyanka Chaturvedi’s tweets and added to it. “PM Modi surrendered to China on Azhar and surrendered to Pakistan & its proxies by delaying elections in J&K. How can the BJP claim to have been tough on internal security and tough against terror?” Omar Abdullah tweeted taking a sharp shot at PM Modi’s international diplomacy.
Reacting to the statement released by Ravi Shankar Prasad, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, also tweeted, “When politicians question the Centre on policies/decisions, standard answer given is, it helps/cause for celebration in Pak. It is raked up even during elections to create fear amongst people. But when China commits repeated acts of incursion, GoI hides in a corner. Why?”
Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader, Subramanyam Swami, refuted Congress and Opposition parties’ allegations on PM Modi and blamed the UPA government for this. Responding to the PM Modi’s rivals, Swamy tweeted, “The cost of freeing Azhar in 1999 is now haunting us. The cost of gifting UNSC seat to China in 1950 is haunting us today. The cost of filing an illegal petition in UN on J&K is bleeding us everyday. Learn to introspect before blaming others. There are no free lunches.”
And the blame game in never ending which symbolises the core politics in India. However, the block can last for a maximum of nine months, post which China can use it’s power to move or terminate the proposal forwarded by the India backed P-3 countries as well as other members. A ban, including travel, would have translated into freezing of Azhar’s assets and his domestic or international travelling. However, China stood as a saviour for the most wanted terrorist hiding on the soil of India’s rival, Pakistan.