India should focus on redrawing its anti-terrorism policy rather than blaming Pakistan without evidence for the Pulwama attack and holding China responsible for blocking efforts to list Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the UN also without proof, Hindustan Times reported quoting Chinese state media.
India has failed to provide “solid evidence” against Azhar and China has rightly practised caution against listing him as a terrorist, the state media comment piece said.
It advised “quiet diplomacy” on India’s part to “better address” the Azhar issue.
At least 44 Indian paramilitary personnel were killed in a suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, the attack reportedly claimed by JeM, proscribed as terror group since 2002 by the UN.
The comment piece published in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times— affiliated to the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) People’s Daily — dismissed New Delhi’s assertions.
“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 said.
It asked a question: “Instead of simply blaming other countries, especially Pakistan and China, shouldn’t the Indian government make more self-introspection on its anti-terrorism policy?
“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.”
The article added that China has reason to cautiously handle the issue. “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.”
It also dismissed the argument that by blocking India’s bid to proscribe Azhar, China was supporting terrorism.
“Citing China’s refusal to support the bid to have Azhar blacklisted by the UN, 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,” the article said.
“Blaming Beijing and Islamabad for the terrorist attack will arouse Indians’ anxieties over neighbouring countries. 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.”
Blaming Pakistan and China could also disrupt the anti-terrorism efforts under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which admitted New Delhi and Islamabad in 2017, the Global Times said.