US demands JeM chief to be designated as a global terroristby Opinion Express March 29, 2019 0 comments
The United States is forcing China’s hand by introducing a resolution in the UN to designate Jaish chief as a global terrorist
The United States is in no mood to let up on global terrorism, particularly miffed by China’s intransigence in the UN in proscribing Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, who has attacked many of its strategic interests in the region, India included, particularly after the Pulwama massacre. So disregarding a Chinese hold on a similar move earlier, the US has moved a new resolution that would designate Azhar a global terrorist, subjecting him to an arms embargo, travel ban and an asset freeze. In short, choke his operations. France and the UK are backing it too. This persistent US-led determination at the UN has clearly pushed Beijing to the wall, which has to either live with global isolation as a tacit backer of terrorism or be ready to sign off on a sanction blacklisting Azhar. So quite predictably, it accused the US of undermining the authority of the UN anti-terrorism committee by “forcefully moving” a resolution in the UNSC.
Though the US has the tricky issue of aligning its strategic objectives with the compulsions of Pakistan, it has always taken a muscular approach to the latter’s hosting a terror network, plucking out Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden no less for attacks on its own soil. But then Pulwama was not only the worst terrorist attack in Kashmir, it also topped a series of destabilising attacks by the Jaish in the region, particularly in Afghanistan. And though India did smash Jaish bases deep inside Pakistan through surgical strikes, the latter’s use of American F-16s for counterstrikes in violation of agreed doctrines clearly upset the US further. Now that its demarches have yielded only a token response from Pakistan, which has been emboldened in no small measure by China, the US is on the offensive. In fact, soon after the Chinese “no”, it has been rallying support from other countries to buttonhole Pakistan on Jaish. Privately, it did try to work out a middle ground with China, on the language designating Azhar, to a version more acceptable to the latter. China was seemingly more willing this time round to work out a compromise. This despite its quid pro quo with Pakistan with the singular aim of insuring itself from the Islamic State spreading to its Muslim majority provinces and attacks on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). But this resolution means the US is now breathing down on China, even indicating the possibility of an open vote. Instead of consensus, that resolution only needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by China, Russia, the US, France or Britain to pass. It was not immediately clear when the draft resolution to designate Azhar could be put to a vote. If the resolution wasn’t enough, the US mounted a pincer attack on China with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denouncing what has been well-known for so long, China’s “shameful hypocrisy” over its treatment of Muslims as he met a former prisoner, who recounted abuses as part of Beijing’s widespread detention. “The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On the one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, on the other, it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN,” he said. According to international human rights groups, China has confiscated religious books from Uighurs and forced them to inhumanities, like forcing them to drink alcohol and eat pork, the consumption of which is forbidden by Islam. China has, of course, denied this, saying it was running training centres as part of a fight against Islamic extremism. Human rights abuse again puts China under an international lens of suspicion. Getting Chinese support to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, at the UN, in any format, would be no mean achievement and particularly be a salve for an outraged India, which has been at the worst receiving end of the Jaish attacks. Question is will the US push China to the brink, given their recent acrimony over trade tariffs?
Courtesy: The Pioneer