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Did India fail in giving ‘solid evidence’ to China on Masood Azhar? Chinese ambassador says so

China’s only criteria were that it needed solid evidence against Azhar. If there is solid evidence the application can be approved, said the Chinese ambassador. (Reuters)

As the strategic meet between India and China closes in, the neighbour complained that they needed solid evidence to back India’s efforts to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the United Nations. Foreign Secretary of India and China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhangh Yesui are to hold a series of strategic discussions in Beijing on February 2012. Both the sides are expected to have an exchange of opinion on the differences between both the countries and other global issues in the mutual interest of the dialogue, which would play an important role as a communication mechanism between both the neighbours.

Speaking about the Masood Azhar issue, over which China has put a technical hold on the recent US move to list the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief as a terrorist in the 1267 committee of the UN Security Council, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said that China upheld the principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism and was prepared to take part in relevant discussions. He said that China’s position on the ban remained constant irrespective of India’s application last year. He added that China’s only criteria were that it needed solid evidence against Azhar. If there is solid evidence the application can be approved. If there is no solid evidence there is hardly a consensus,” he said. He stated that China had reiterated its stand on the matter several times. Speaking of the 1267 committee he said that applications have been made by relevant countries with the committee. He added that the concerned members of the committee are in consultation but they haven’t yet reached a consensus.

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Earlier last year, China had put India’s application to ban Azhar on technical hold twice. This year, it is the United States of America has moved to the UN to designate Azhar. For the uninitiated, Azhar is the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. China has again put his ban on a technical hold. If it is China’s arrogance or India’s inability to provide concrete evidence to have Azhar declared a terrorist is yet to be known. But in this case the question arises as to why India has kept mum on China’s statement speaking of India’s inability.