China abdicating responsibility in fighting terrorism

China has yet again shown its true face to the world on the issue of terrorism. By blocking the joint bid by India and the United States to get Lashkar-e-Taiba’s deputy chief Abdul Rehman Makki listed as a global terrorist at the United Nations, China has once again exposed its double standards on terrorism and extremism. Makki, a US-designated terrorist, is the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed. The proposal was floated by India and the US under the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda (Dae’sh) and ISIL Sanctions Committee. To rescue Pakistan, China has placed a ‘technical hold’ on the proposal. The proposal can’t be adopted till China withdraws the hold.

This decision by China is extremely unfortunate, given the overwhelming evidence against Makki. Moreover, it runs counter to China’s claims of combating terrorism. For years, China similarly obstructed the UN blacklisting of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. In 2015, China had also blocked India’s move in the UN seeking action against Pakistan for releasing the mastermind of the ISI-sponsored 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. It is clear from its track record that Beijing has been misusing its position in the UN Security Council and abdicating its international responsibility in fighting terrorism. Protecting notorious terrorists from UN sanctions and other relevant measures will only undermine China’s credibility. Such an approach will only add to the growing list of issues causing discord between India and China. Terrorism is a global menace that demands joint international response and coordination. It cannot be tackled in isolation, nor can it be condemned selectively. China’s decision to pursue a ‘good terrorist, bad terrorist’ line of policy is bound to hurt it in the long run.