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China Shields Masood Azhar and Betrays India in Fight against Terror
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Rakesh Kr Sinha | Date:16 Apr , 2016 1 Comment
Rakesh Kr Sinha
Former DIG and is associate member of Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). Presently Special Advisor to the Chief Minister, Govt of NCT of Delhi.

One of the worlds’s most cited philosophers, Noam Chomsky once said, “Everybody is worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there is a really easy way: Stop participating in it.” This is a simple phrase but with loaded meaning telling us about the lies, prejudices and falsehood in the nation’s approach towards dealing with the scourge of terrorism, the biggest menace of our times. 

This can be better illustrated as a case in point when Masood Azhar, the Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) Chief, got a big diplomatic support from China. The neighbouring country blocked India’s bid at the United Nations (UN) on banning the chief of JeM.

India’s contention was based on the submission made for consideration by Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for the technical examination of the evidences of Masood Azhar’s direct role in orchestrating terror attacks at Pathankot.

China, however, at the behest of Pakistan, advised the 1267 Sanctions Committee to put on hold the decision of including the name of JeM’s chief maintaining that he does not qualify to be a terrorist.

The permanent representative of China at UN, Liu Jieyi said that Masood Azhar did not meet ‘the Council’s requirements’ to be considered a terrorist. “Individuals and organizations on the sanctions list of the United Nations world have to meet the requirements. It is the responsibility of all the members of the Council to make sure that each requirement is followed”.

The Chinese contestation on Masood Azhar obfuscated the UN Security Council’s move even when 14 out of 15 including 4 permanent members were of a unanimous view that Masood Azhar qualifies to be branded as a terrorist. China, thus, not only betrayed India but also let down the international community in its fight against global terror.

China with this act has cussedly reignited the old debate of the UN’s effectiveness in dealing with the global terrorism. In the last seventy years of its existence, the UN has not been able to define the word ‘terrorism’ as the Member States could not build a consensus on it. This is a monumental failure on the part of the international community to arrive at an acceptable definition even though majority of member States are claiming to be the victims of one or other types of terrorist violence.

As per the November 2015 analysis by the Sydney based Institute of Economics and Peace, 93 countries experienced at least one terrorist act in the year 2014 and that includes France and Australia. The number of death because of terrorist attacks worldwide rose from 3329 in the year 2002 to 32685 the year 2014. Out of total lives lost in 2014, about 78% counted for in the five countries alone i.e. Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

These five countries are the hub of terrorist activities and Pakistan is a prominent member of this club. This is quite a distinction for Pakistan and it is a tragedy that a permanent member of UN Security Council like China is using its veto to shield terrorist organizations and its leaders flourishing with State support in Pakistan. This audacious diplomatic move of China comes up when JeM has already been declared as a terrorist organization in the year 2001 by the UN.

The UN has no internationally-agreed definition of terrorism. Although work began on a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism by the end of 2000, the definitional impasse has prevented its adoption. The prime reason is the standoff with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

The Arab Terrorism Convention and the Terrorism Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) define terrorism to exclude armed struggle for liberation and self-determination. This claim purports to exclude blowing up certain civilians from the reach of international law and organizations.

It is central to interpreting every proclamation by the states which have ratified these conventions in any UN forum purporting to combat terrorism. On 13, November, 2015 the Chairman of the General Assembly Working Group – that was established to finalize a draft convention on international terrorism- circulated an oral report in which he named ‘the outstanding issues’.

He highlighted the OIC demand “to distinguish between acts of terrorism and the legitimate struggle of peoples under foreign occupation and colonial or alien domination in the exercise of their right to self-determination.

The divided international community begets a huge advantage for the terrorist outfits as practically every such terrorist organizations has one or more countries extending covert or overt support to them.

The world is terrified seeing the horror perpetrated by the Islamic State but the world is also aware that it is getting active support and funding from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and many other fundamentalist Sunni Muslim States of that region. Russia supports Ukrainian rebels and America supports Syrians rebels.

Many western arms manufacturing countries find a huge market in supplying armaments, missiles and explosives to terrorist organizations. It is said that Islamic State alone has a two billion dollar war chest. Understandably this money will travel to the developed countries which manufacture military hardware and logistics.

Recently Turkey ordered thousands of Toyota vehicles to Japan. These vehicles are required by Islamic States and not by Turkey which is just a conduit in this business deal. Toyota Company fully aware that these vehicles are meant for Islamic States has no qualms about selling their vehicles to the Islamic State. Many shipping companies are earning huge profit in marketing the Syrian purloined crude oil through their tankers worldwide.

The international oil market could keep the prices of crude consistently low because of the availability of illegal supply of crude oil at a cheaper price by the Islamic State.

Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published a report from a major western media outlet illustrating that ISIS is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day.

The political economy of terrorism benefits many countries. Islamic States’ supply lines run precisely where Syrian and Iraqi air power cannot go.  It goes to the north and into NATO-member Turkey, and to the southwest into US allies Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Beyond these borders exists a logistical network that spans a region including both Eastern Europe and North Africa.

Terrorists and weapons left over from NATO’s intervention in Libya in 2011 were promptly sent to Turkey and then onto Syria – coordinated by US State Department officials and intelligence agencies in Benghazi – a terrorist hotbed for decades.

The New York Times reported in 2013 in their article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.,” says that from offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity”.

As long as the theatre of the terrorist activities is present in the Asian -African continent, the western countries have no problems with it. It is only when the terrorism hits them directly as in the case of Paris and Brussels that the wisdom dawns upon them and they speak of the need of fighting the global terrorism.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels forebodes the extension of the span of terrorism from a regional to a global scale. No country is now immune from terrorist attacks. This should be sufficient for the big powers to internalize the horrors of terrorism, come out of their paranoiac diplomacy and to join ‘the war of terrorism’ and this includes China.


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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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One thought on “China Shields Masood Azhar and Betrays India in Fight against Terror

  1. if united nation and west and USA really want to finish terrorism they must declare indian intelligence raw terrorist org. Hippocratic polices of west are main hurdle in peace.west and un can see 3 or 4 stage dramas of terror in india but they closed eyes on thousands of killing of Pakistanis BY raw sponsored TTP and altaf gang.

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