Date :16-Mar-2019



WHAT China is doing as regards its refusal to support the proposal in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to have Jaish-e-Mohammed mastermind Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist is sheer bad -- and brazen -- diplomacy. As the world pressure mounted against the blockage move, China tried to defend itself saying that it would seek a “lasting solution” to the problem.

This is unbridled nonsense which no one would accept. No matter the manner in which China is trying to handle the post-blockage situation, the world will see the Chinese effort as an obstinate move to protect its friend Pakistan. For, the sane world knows that no lasting solution to terrorism would emerge in one single move, but the effort will have to move through a series of small steps that ultimately would lend the global fight against terror a right direction.

Of course, this is not just a question of diplomacy when things come to crunch while fighting terror globally. But what happened at the UNSC was nothing but a bad and obstinate diplomacy by China. By so doing, China is only acting as a very major obstacle in the world’s way to find a collective solution. Masood Azhar, thus, becomes only a current point of reference but the context is how some countries like Pakistan and China are shielding terrorists. Given this reality, the entire effort at the United Nations is to change the context by enlisting support of all member-nations in the fight against terror. By blocking the proposal to have Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist, China is trying to obliterate that trajectory the world body is trying to assume.

Seen in this light, the advocation by China that it is trying to find out a lasting solution is nothing but a play of words, a ploy to avoid a direct and immediate responsibility to tackle the issue. This has been an enduring dimension of the Chinese diplomacy for decades. Experience is that the Chinese do not do any round-about talk, but also never say anything specific. They respect time and norms of meetings. But when they interact, they are almost cold and never reveal a thing. They may not fudge an issue, but also never define its dimensions. Trying to find out a “lasting solution”, thus, is the Chinese attempt to block a global move and to introduce some calibrated confusion.

It is in this context that diplomats of other countries have warned China that they would look for “other actions” to nail Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. It is obvious that in time to come, a new diplomatic activity may get unveiled in the UN arena. Having committed to safeguarding Pakistani interests on a long-term basis, China will also craft its counter-strategy. But the recent events have made it clear to the world that it will keep playing spoilsport in an effort to alter the global narrative. Be that as it may, one thing is sure that China has positioned itself in a rather evil corner, pushing the world into suspecting each of its future diplomatic moves -- in terms of reliability and sensitivity.

There is no doubt that mere proscribing Masood Azhar would not offer a lasting solution to the problem of terrorism. For, what has the world done actually as regards other proscribed persons? Yet, by following basic norms of collective thought and action -- which are the fundamental tenets of the United Nations -- the world body is trying to add value to the global resolve to fight terror. Elimination of terrorists or their outfits is an altogether separate task, which the nations will have to undertake individually or together. Despite this, China’s suggestion of what it called lasting solution does not seem to include any physical action. Then, what would be the dimensions of the “lasting solutions”? China does not have an answer to this question. And it is not bothered. For, its basic purpose of stalling a global move has succeeded at least for the time being. Everything else is nonsense.