China and Pakistan Reluctant to Fight Terrorism
China has once again choked the proposal by India and the US at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to declare Abdul Rauf Azar a banned terrorist. He is the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azar and deputy chief Pakistan-based terrorists organization. This organization is exporting terrorism worldwide. As per the documents available with United Nations Organization (UNO), Azar is referred to as Abdul Rauf Asghar, who was involved in the planning and execution of numerous terror attacks against India. He was involved in planning and hijacking Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 in 1999, the Indian Parliament in 2001 and the terror attack on the Indian Air Force Base at Pathankot, as per the sources of Govt of India.
India and the US moved a proposal in the UNSC vide resolution number 1267 to list Abdul Rauf Asghar as a branded terrorist. But China placed a technical hold on this proposal. All other 14 members of the UNSC agreed to place and discuss the issue but were turned down by China. Listing him as a global terrorist would render his assets frozen and create a travel ban and embargo on selling and purchasing arms and war-like stores.
Nevertheless, this is not the first time China has blocked the listing of terrorists in the 1276 Sanctions Committee. In June this year, China did the same thing to block the sanctions proposed by India and the US against the deputy chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Abdul Rehman Makki. He was involved in fundraising, recruitment and terror attacks against India, including the Mumbai Terror attack in 2008.
Incidents of how China disrupted the worldwide efforts against terrorism:
- 2009: After the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, India proposed an independent terror designation against Masood Azar, but China declined it.
- 2016: After seven years, India again proposed listing Masood Azar as an international terrorist, and this was reinforced by the US, the UK and France, but China blocked this action again. In yet another move in 2017, China choked it again.
- 2019: After the attacks on the CRPF personnel in J&K’s Pulwama, India calls 25 diplomats to highlight Islamabad’s role in funding, promoting and strengthening global terrorism. India moves the fourth proposal demanding Masood Azar’s listing.
As per the sources available, the US and India have already banned these terrorists as per the domestic legal rules and regulations. Unfortunately, the sanctions committee has failed in its role to slap sanctions on these terrorists under the influence of China. These actions have exposed China to double standards and doublespeak regarding the fight against international terrorism. Such politically motivated actions by China are driven mainly by the interests of Pakistan. In the long run, China will pay for its short-sightedness.
The China-Pakistan alliance has its root in history. After the 1962 Indo-China war, both Pakistan and China considered India their common rival. Due to apparent reasons, Pakistan has treated India as its enemy since the Horrors of Partition in 1947. China considers India its enemy due to long-standing boundary disputes. Today, China-Pakistan ties are more robust because the US has lost faith and trust in Pakistan. China has its own strategic goals to reach out into the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. These goals are motivated by the ‘Malacca Dilemma’ in which India can choke China’s supply anytime if needed. India undoubtedly has China and Pakistan as hostile enemies in the north and west. Although Pakistan doesn’t have any financial muscles yet has terrorist organizations which are exporting terrorism to India and worldwide. Pakistan has been indulging in cross-border terrorism against India since 1947.
The China-Pakistan alliance plays a vital role in Asia’s geopolitics. China and India are perturbed by India’s rise in prospects after the US left Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic. China is Pakistan’s inordinate economic expectation and its most reliable military partner. Pakistan is China’s biggest buyer of arms. Pakistan lies at the heart of China’s geo-strategic goals, from a global naval power to its grand plans for a new silk road linking the energy fields of the Middle East and the markets of Europe to the major cities of East Asia. But Pakistan is still a battleground for China’s encounters with terrorists. The rise of China has turned into a target for terrorists. Therefore, China has to protect Pakistan’s interests in saving those terrorists who are working for Pakistan.
Geopolitics is a significant factor that has played an indiscernible hand in protecting the agents of terror. Many times, China has been reluctant to ban terrorist and terrorist organizations. China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly blocked India’s move to do so. The US, Britain and France all back India to ban terrorist and terrorist organizations. UN and the western world must wake up to these actions of China, which supports terrorism abetted by Pakistan. Pakistan’s government has been proven toothless in curbing nefarious activities from her soil. Many terrorist organizations are flourishing right under Pakistan’s nose. Terrorism is terrorism must be curbed at all costs; otherwise, it can play havoc with world peace and security.
On the other hand, China is trying to increase its footprints through financial debt traps. Poorer countries worldwide, including many in Africa, are confronting $35 billion in debt-service payments in 2022. According to sources in the World Bank, about 40% of this total is owed to China. Recently, Sri Lanka has been under this financial debt trap, and very soon, Pakistan will be on this list.
India, Israel and many other countries have been facing the threat of terrorism for almost seven decades, but the face of international terrorism changed on 9/11. Hereafter a new brand of the threat, it’s scope and severity emerged. This threat is so enormous that it demands combined efforts of the international community to fight this menace of terrorism. International cooperation is, therefore, a critical factor in fighting against terrorism in the world. Intelligence activities to prevent terrorism are exceptionally required, which is only possible through international cooperation. Joint training activities help share information about fighting terrorism. Another aspect of cooperation in fighting terrorism is technical knowledge. Security forces and terrorists are constantly competing in acquiring technologies to throw oppositions, obstructions and surprises at each other. Nations must find new ways of cooperation against International Terrorism.
Terrorism poses a severe threat to the security of the citizens of the world community and international peace, prosperity and stability. It is a persistent global threat, doesn’t adhere to borders, nationality or religion, and is a challenge the international community must prepare for or perish. Countries must continue to fight this threat with determination and in full solidarity. Nations must work on counter-terrorism strategy focusing on the enlightenment of the threat, improving their ability to prepare and respond, and enhancing engagement with countries and international actors cooperating in the fight against international terrorism.