Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Nov 2017 11:34:33

ONCE again, China has blocked an attempt by India, the United States and other nations to have dreaded terrorist and chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. On past three occasions, too, China had blocked the attempts, thus making it clear to the world that for China also, terror is a tool of its international diplomatic activity. No matter what the lip service the Chinese leadership might pay to the cause of global fight against terror, its actual game is to promote terror as a tool of its global politics. Because it suits to protect Masood Azhar from being listed as a global terrorist, China has gone along with Pakistan, its obvious close ally of recent years, to block other nations’ move. And the reason China has given is very flimsy -- that all nations are not on the same page on the issue.

This bares the Chinese game very clearly. This makes it clear that there still are many countries that really do not treat terror as an issue of consensus and that there are multiple opinions on how to tackle terror as a global danger. But instead of leading the way to promote the idea of a joint fight against terror, China is seeking the escape route of citing the example of other nations that have different views. Obviously, China is playing political games that are detrimental to the common cause of fight against terror. Given its geo-political assumptions, China is bound to oppose any Indian or American move to have Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist. Because it is getting increasingly isolated on many issues, China now has to stick to its friendship with Pakistan, no matter what. This is the compulsion which China is abiding by.

Thus, Masood Azhar is not the point by itself; it is the Pakistan-compulsion which is leading China to take a political stand in total disregard to sanity and importance of putting up a common global front against terror. By declaring Masood Azhar as a global terrorist may not actually mean the end of the JeM chief. But that would come as a symbolism which the global front requires as a booster dose. The Masood Azhar metaphor, thus, means a unity of thought among all nations.

Of course, looking at an altogether different dream of its own, with no regard for the global thought-process, China is following its own narrow approach which is marked by certain deliberateness that hurts a great global cause. This is, of course, unfortunate, though China will always want to brazen things out, something very typical, something very peculiar. 

In the arena of global diplomacy, terrorism is one cause that has occupied everybody’s psyche in a big way. Despite that, there also are multiple distortions that are affecting the discourse on this subject of everybody’s concern. China’s effort to shield Masood Azhar is a part of that unfortunate distortion.

Of course, the lookout of many countries for Masood Azhar will become more intense now. For, when a collective move to have one man as a global terrorist is being stalled time and again by one country, then other countries are most likely to consolidate their resolve to mark the man and work for his elimination. And once that starts happening, China, or for that matter any other country, would never be able to defend him from the practical danger of reposte`. There is no doubt that Masood Azhar is one of the most dreaded terrorists anywhere in the world. There is little doubt that both, India as well as the United States, would continue making efforts to have him marked as a global terrorist. But more importantly, they will keep a close tab on his activities, which would make him more vulnerable than anybody may think. In a way, thus, China’s defence of the dreaded man actually does not defend him in a true sense.