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India needs to be smart in hitting back at China

19 0 0

On March 13, China blocked, for the fourth time over the past decade, the listing of Masood Azhar, head of Jaish-e-Mohammed, by the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee. The resolution this time was not moved by India but by a dozen-odd members, including veto-wielding permanent members France, Britain and the United States, but regrettably not Russia. Notably, Australia and Japan were among them, who along with the US and India form the “Quadrilateral”, perceived by China as an antithetical grouping of democracies in the Indo-Pacific. However, missing from it were the current two Asian UNSC non-permanent members, Kuwait and Indonesia. Thus, the government’s spin that the entire global community was aligned with India against Pakistan and China might be hyperbolic.

It may be recalled China did not veto the listing of the top leadership of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba on December 10, 2008 by the 1267 Committee, including Hafiz Saeed, two weeks after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai that traumatised India and its financial capital. It is possible the immensity of the attack, the loss of Indian and foreign lives, including those of citizens of major powers, made it impossible for China to defy the emerging consensus. It’s also possible that the Pakistan People’s Party government, elected a year earlier after the dastardly assassination of Benazir Bhutto, didn’t push China. Then foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, writing recently, argues while instinctively he felt the military punishment of LeT was necessary, in retrospect US actions like giving India access to arch spy-cum-facilitator David Coleman Headley justified restraint.

Why then is China acting........

© Deccan Chronicle