Within a fortnight after France initiated and US backed resolution was moved before the United Nations Security Council to declare Jaish-e-Muhammad founder Moulana Masood Azhar as the "global terrorist", China has vetoed it, again.
He explained that China had conducted a thorough and in-depth assessment of the application moved by France, the United Kingdom, and the USA and added, "We still need more time so that we put a technical hold and this is in line with the new rules of the committee".
"It appears as though the Chinese have been protecting Pakistan's priorities on counter-terrorism in the committee and so they are Pakistan's protector", said a Security Council diplomat, who asked not to be named.
The Pakistan-based terrorist group claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide auto bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir that killed 40 members of its security forces, bringing the volatile nations to the brink of a full-blown war. Aside from the USA and United Kingdom among the other permanent members of the Security Council, 10 non-permanent and non-member countries joined the proposal as co-sponsors.
ANI reported about India's ministry of external affairs response that stated, "We are disappointed by this outcome".
It was the fourth time that the UN Security Council was considering a request to put Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), on the UN sanctions blacklist, which would subject him to a global travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo.
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In 2017 too, India indirectly identified China as the UNSC member responsible for blocking the consensus on listing Azhar.
China had shown some flexibility last month on the issue of JeM last month, when it went along with a Council statement condemning in "strongest terms" the Pulwama attack calling it a "heinous and cowardly suicide bombing" and noting that the JeM claimed responsibility for it.
China "sincerely hopes that relevant action taken by this committee will help relevant countries to engage in dialogue and consultation and prevent adding more complicated factors into regional peace and stability", he said. Gandhi hit out at PM Modi saying he was scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Public opinion in India, inflamed by repeated cross-border terrorist attacks, would expect resolute action by the government to ensure that China does not keep on supporting Pakistan on terrorism directly or indirectly.
"Why is Rahul Gandhi in a celebratory mood when country is pained by China's attitude?" India may have to re-examine whether the Wuhan spirit can still prevail after China's unhelpful action at the UNSC.
In a tweet, Bolton said, "Met with Indian FS Gokhale to advance progress on the U.S. -India strategic partnership & our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, as well as reiterate that the U.S. stands shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the fight against terrorism".