In an age of extremes, of hyperbole, and of tall promises, a headline announcing that getting Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar sanctioned by the UN’s 1267 Committee is a ‘big’ diplomatic win for India should not be surprising. It would however, be worrying if Government of India officials or responsible political leaders were to also parrot this line.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN was calm in his tweet declaring that Azhar had been designated a terrorist. Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, however, at a press conference on behalf of the ruling BJP could not resist taking potshots at the opposition Congress, criticizing it for asking, “what is the big deal?” and went on to call the listing ‘badi kootnitik vijay’ (big diplomatic victory). Continue reading Listing Masood Azhar as Global Terrorist: China Helps India to a Pyrrhic Victory
India failed yet again to have Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar sanctioned because of a ‘technical hold’ by China at the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee. Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. (retd) V K Singh chose the occasion to send out a tweet asking if China’s stance was ‘a reflection of the soft position of some leaders & political parties’ implying, of course, Indian opposition leaders and parties.
The Minister’s ill-advised tweet is a clear indication of this government’s political priorities focused on settling domestic political scores in election season and a preference to deal with Pakistan – clearly the more profitable issue from an electoral point of view – rather than the longer-term and harder challenge of China.
The MEA statement in response to the outcome of 1267 Committee meeting did not even name China directly as being responsible. This, when it has previously criticised China by name. Instead of taking a consistent position on China, the Minister has decided to milk the occasion for domestic politics by imputing motives to his party’s political opponents. Continue reading India’s Mixed Signals to China on Terrorism