29 June 2015

Why China Continues To Lose Goodwill In India – Analysis

By Dr. Sridhar Krishnaswami*
June 28, 2015

If anyone was under the impression that India’s notification to the United Nations sanctions Committee to rein in Pakistan under Resolution 1267 over the release of dreaded terrorist and commander of the Lakshar-e-Taiba, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, would have the nod of China, he/she was living in an illusory world. Even if India had provided “enough information” China would still have maintained that New Delhi had failed to do so and would have adopted every other procedural manoeuvre to prevent Pakistan from being raked over the coals.

What really would have been news is if China had gone along with other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to consider India’s referral. That being the case it is difficult to understand why there is so much heartburn in the media and elsewhere on the latest Chinese action. In fact, this is not the first time that China has let its client state off the hook, much to the dismay of the international community, even while mouthing all the nice things about having to cooperate on issues of terrorism.

The argument of officials in China or its representatives overseas that India, Pakistan and China have together to cooperate on terrorism because Pakistan is “also” a victim of terrorism is quite bizarre. China should have understood that if its vassal state is “also” a victim of terrorism it is on account of it being a state sponsor of terror, which at times comes knocking home. It is highly doubtful if China or Pakistan knew the kind and spread of terrorists who are holed up in the troubled areas of the North East Frontier.

And for that matter, Beijing would have been better off to nudge Islamabad to get tough on Lakhvi and those of his ilk for the simple reason that China is also at the receiving end of the menace of terrorism. By supporting Pakistan at New York on flimsy procedural matters China has only exposed itself and would seem like being in the company of a small group of nations who are looking the other way when it comes to dealing with a global scourge. Lakhvi is seen as the LeT commander who was the mastermind of the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that left 166 persons dead and scores injured.

In bailing out Pakistan one more time at the United Nations on issues of terror, China continues to lose goodwill in India, and this comes just at a time when barely a month ago the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given the royal red carpet welcome, and in all the hoopla that went along with it including e-visas. If anything the Indian prime minister has been snubbed at a time when he is reported to have raised issues of terrorism (and Pakistan’s involvement in those) at the very highest levels of Chinese leadership. If anything the latest Chinese posturing at the United Nations would only harden the stance of those in the foreign policy and intelligence establishments in India who were skeptical of Beijing’s intentions to start with.

Pakistan’s two-faced posture on terrorism is for all to see irrespective of its loud protestations that it is in the forefront of the fight against terror. Successive administrations in Washington have well known Islamabad’s track record on terror and yet continue to pour in billions by way of lethal and non-lethal assistance — fancifully called reimbursements. And all this despite knowing that the monies funneled to Pakistan in the name of anti-terror operations is used to fund terror activities against India through known terror based groups like the LeT. The United States seemingly keeps Pakistan afloat in the premise that the alternatives of that failed state going totally under could be worse — read loose nukes.

Official India has been reminded by China one more time as to where its loyalties and sympathies are, and New Delhi, while being utterly dismayed at the turn of events, cannot give up in continuing to pressure China on the real threat the global community faces over Pakistan. By the same token, New Delhi should ask Beijing what is the “enough information” it failed to provide on Lakhvi that warranted a roadblock. The United States, Britain, France and Russia did not have a problem with what India presented — only China did!

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