Running into the Chinese wall
The MasoodAzhar case is a piece in the fragmenting jigsaw of
: Chinese veto of India’s proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief MasoodAzhar at the UN
§ In the past, Beijing blocked India’s proposals at the UN to designate HizbulMujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and Abdul RehmanMakki and AzamCheema of the Lashkar-e-Taiba as terrorists, and blocked questions on how designated terrorists Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-RehmanLakhvi accessed funds in Pakistan despite UN sanctions
Despite all the evidence, it took two years and the 9/11 attacks for the JeM to be designated as a terror group by UNSC 1267 sanctions committee in 2001. It seems unbelievable that 15 years later, despite his complicity in everything from the Parliament attack to the Pathankot attack and everything in between, Azhar hasn’t yet been added to that list
it would be mistake if India sees China’s move purely from a bilateral perspective and ignores the larger trend it represents:
: After the 9/11 attacks, the global consensus to fight the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and all allied groups was formed by the UNSC resolution on terrorism (UNSCR 1373) in 2001.
§ Already, in 1999, the UN had set up an al-Qaeda/Taliban sanctions committee (UNSCR 1267) to impose strictures on anyone dealing with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. While the implementation of these resolutions has been questionable, there was little doubt that all member states essentially believed that the Taliban, al-Qaeda and their allies formed a common global enemy.
the above narrative has changed.
§ In January 2010, at an international conference hosted by the U.K., the UN and the U.S. openly backed efforts to talk peace with the Taliban
§ In 2011, the UNSC made it simply the al-Qaeda sanctions committee, separating the Taliban committee so as to facilitate talks by delisting Taliban leaders being engaged
§ In December 2015, the UNSC made a further shift by renaming it “ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee” (UNSCR/2253). This renaming prompted Pakistan to ask recently, albeit mistakenly, how the banning of Azhar was even connected to the committee’s work
Apart from the UN, shifting U.S.-Russia ties have also made a great impact on the global terror consensus.
§ : In 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first foreign leaders to speak to President George W. Bush, expressing full support for the U.S. fight against al-Qaeda, which would in turn help Russia with its Islamist threat as well. Not only that, Mr. Putin reversed Russian policy of decades, allowing the U.S. to set up bases across Central Asia and virtually take over Afghanistan’s security command
§ & Russia is questioning US presence in its backyard again. It now sees U.S.’s bases in Afghanistan as akin to having Russian bases in Mexico.
The third factor impacting global consensus on terrorism is the
§ Russia’s closeness with China and Pakistan: A trilateral meeting of the three countries in December in Moscow called for a “flexible approach” to remove some Taliban figures from the UN sanctions list as part of efforts to “foster a peaceful dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban movement”
The U.S. has been pushing for the removal of other groups in Afghanistan from sanctions, like the Hizb-e-Islami’sGulbuddinHekmatyar (a former Central Intelligence Agency-funded fighter), a move that Russia blocked at the UN
Above mentioned facts clearly state one thing,
§ Global leaders are picking sides
§ Neither side has yet pushed for the banning of the new Taliban chief, HaibatullahAkhundzada, a reminder of how far away we have come on that global consensus. Also lying in the dust is India’s decades-old proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism
Russia’s growing closeness to Pakistan cannot be disconnected from India
§ : It is significant that among the P5, the U.S., U.K. and France co-sponsored India’s resolution against Azhar, China vetoed it, but Russia, India’s traditional backer, did nothing at all
§ At the BRICS summit in October and the Heart of Asia conference in December, it was the Russia-China combine that kept India’s desire for tough statements on “cross-border terrorism” from Pakistan at bay, and it was the Russian envoy who told India not to use “multilateral forums for bilateral issues”
theAzhar ban is only a piece of the much larger global jigsaw puzzle. India must build strong ties with all the nations involved.
Publishes on : 10-Jan-2017 05:00 PM