Beijing, Feb 18: India must self-introspect its anti-terrorism policy rather than blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama suicide bombing and China for blocking efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist without proof, said a Chinese state-run newspaper.
The Pakistan-backed JeM took responsibility for the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that killed 49 CRPF personnel.
A comment piece in the Global Times accused India of failing to provide “solid evidence” against Azhar and said China rightly practised caution against listing him as a terrorist.
The article, authored by Yu Jincui, advised New Delhi to resort to “quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to better address” the Azhar issue.
“Without solid evidence, India has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks by JeM and other militant groups and China of providing uncritical support for Pakistan,” the article stated.
“Instead of simply blaming other countries, especially Pakistan and China, shouldn’t the Indian government make more self-introspection on its anti-terrorism policy and dwell more on how to better administer (Jammu and) Kashmir?
“As for the issue of listing Azhar, Beijing has reiterated its stand several times that New Delhi should provide solid facts and proofs for banning Azhar,” it said.
According to the Times’ piece, China had reason to cautiously handle the issue as “observers worry that blacklisting Azhar could be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries”.
The article denied that by not getting Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the UN, China was supporting terrorism against India.
“India in recent years has aggressively blamed China for allying with Pakistan in shielding terrorists. It disregards the fact that as a victim of terrorism itself, China has pledged to support the international community’s anti-terrorism efforts and stands ready to work with India and all other countries to fight terrorism.”
However, the article added that some Chinese scholars want China to take India’s concerns more into account on the JeM chief.
“Should New Delhi resort to quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to pressure Beijing, the Azhar issue could have been better addressed,” the comment piece stated.
“A tough stance by the BJP government may help the ruling party win more support. But this will risk anti-terrorism cooperation being sabotaged for the political interests of parties in India,” it said.