After a long diplomatic struggle, India rachieved a great feat when the Pakistan aided terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Haqqani network were included in the BRICS joint declaration. China, which was constantly blocking India’s move to name JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist in UN, claimed that it took the decision to fight against the violent activities by these groups. India’s diplomatic move and China’s own attitude resulted in such a situation where China had no other option. Let us understand the whole scenario why China needed to do this: –
Chapter 1: Uyghurs, Chinese and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an Islamic international organization, which aims at Islamic-brotherhood among the Muslim states. Pakistan is always eager to lead the OIC, which consists of 57 Muslim countries. Though there are more developed Muslim countries in OIC which can be leaders, Pakistan has some special quality-
- Pakistan has the second largest Muslim population among all the Muslim countries.
- Pakistan is the only Muslim country, which has nuclear power. The credit goes to the Chinese.
Pakistan has undeniable significance in OIC and there is a condition to gain membership of OIC- no member country should consider Kashmir as an integral part of India. When India wanted to join OIC as a guest member due to its Muslim population, Pakistan blocked India’s entry.
Though the OIC aims at raising issues and solving problems the Muslim world faces, the organization was silent regarding the atrocities faced by the Turkish ethnic Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province of China. There was an unofficial deal struck between Chinese and Pakistan according to which, Chinese would oppose to India’s proposal in UN to ban Hafij Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawaa as a global terrorist organization following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and in return, Pakistan would ensure that OIC would remain silent in Uyghur issues. Following are the reasons why most Muslim countries are silent on Uyghur issue:-
- Saudi Arabia is silent on Uyghur issues because it does not want to offend China who provides nuclear technologies to Pakistan; it is believed that Pakistan is ready to share the nuclear missile technologies with Saudi Arabia.
- China is strengthening its relationship with Middle East and North African countries. Xin Jinping visited Egypt, Saudi and Iran and signed many pacts. China is also a chief consumer of oil.
- The Muslim countries themselves have domestic issues with the minority population and there are many instances regarding human rights abuse towards these groups in these countries.
The Uyghurs had started separatist movement against the Chinese oppression. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to pass through the Xinjiang province and the Uyghur protest will affect the CPEC. In order to safeguard the CPEC, the former Pakistani military general Raheel Sharif had promised China to crackdown the Uyghur movements. According to the Chairman of World Uyghur Congress Mr. Dulkan Isa, Pakistan even deported some 200 Uyghur refugees back to China, who took shelter in Pakistan previously.
Chapter 2: Modi government tricked China into idiocy.
China had been blocking India’s proposal to take action against the Pakistan-aided terrorists since a long time:-
- China opposed thrice to add the Jamat-ud-Dawah in the UN Security Council’s terror. UN finally enlisted JuD in December 2008.
- The Sanctions under the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 asks its member states to take actions like preventing foreign trips, freezing assets, arrest, etc. against the individuals whom the UN committee recognizes as terrorist. In 2015, China blocked India’s move in UN to seek action against Pakistan for the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of Mumbai attacks and the commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan’s act was against the international law.
- On May 2015, China again put a technical hold on India’s bid to add Hijbul Mujahidin chief Syed Salahuddin in the Sanction list.
- On 31st March 2016, China blocked India’s move to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist and add him on UN’s Resolution 1267 list.
- China extended the technical hold thrice- in Oct 2016, Feb 2017 and Aug 2017.
In August 2016, India issued a visa to Dulkan Isa who was to visit Dharamshala for a conference, which enraged China. The country criticized India for issuing visa to a “terrorist”. The irony is, UN does not recognize Dulkan a terrorist, and yet, India showed respect to China’s worries by cancelling Dulkan’s visa. On the other hand, even after UN blacklisted JeM as a foreign terrorist organization since 2001, China is constantly causing hurdles in enlisting JeM chief Masood Azhar under Sanctions under Resolution 1267. This brightens India’s image and shows the hypocrisy of China.
Chapter 3: China is criticized for its stubbornness in a single issue.
China has pledged $51 billion in projects and investments in an economic corridor that literally runs across the length of Pakistan – connecting China’s Xinjiang region to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar. China needs to keep Pakistan happy, so that Pakistan can ensure the smooth execution of the project. But, The more China is helping Pakistan, the more is Pakistan getting demanding. Even, Beijing was in quite discomfort for repeatedly blocking India’s move to put ban on Masood Azhar by UN on one hand, and strictly crushing the Uyghur movements by calling them separatists on the other hand. Even a Pakistani Urdu daily called Duniya reported– “As a super power, China cannot relegate itself at the UN to focus on this single issue of blocking the proposal every time. Pakistan must find some answers to the problem to satisfy world community”. On the other hand, U.S. was pushing UN to put the ban on Masood Azhar, too. Even the former Chinese Consul General Mao Siwei criticized China’s stance on Azhar Masood.
Moreover, due to the “house arrest” of Hafij Saeed and China’s constant effort to shield Massod Azhar, Azhar’s JeM has become the center-stage of Jihadi movement in Pakistan. JeM commanders are openly recruiting militants, collecting money and giving hate speeches to destroy India. This is in front of the whole world and everybody is questioning the double standards of China.
Chapter 4: Doklam standoff: The fall from grace for the Chinese.
China was severely criticized for its attitude in Doklam issue. To make the situation worse, Chinese official media channels even aired a racist video clip called “7 sins of India”, mocking India by targeting an Indian Sikh soldier. Chinese faced severe backlash for their insensitive and racist attitude.
Chapter 5: Adding JeM and LeT in the BRICS joint declaration does not change the ground reality.
Though JeM and LeT are included in the BRICS joint declaration, it does not add anything positive specifically. JeM and LeT are already in the list of global terror groups recognized and banned by UN. Still, JeM commanders are operating in Pakistan with full liberty. Until and unless UN Security Council adds Masood Azhar in the Sanction list of Resolution 1267, JeM will be operating with full strength and it does not change anything. When asked about China’s stance on Masood Azhar after JeM and LeT were included in the joint declaration, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeman Geng Shuang skipped the topic by not giving a straight reply. It is clear that China is still not willing to change its stance on Masood Azhar too soon.