Pulwama attack: China weighing options on Masood Azhar issue – Times of India

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Pulwama attack: China weighing options on Masood Azhar issue – Times of India

BEIJING: China appeals to be reviewing its issue

Masood Azhar

– head of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) – a

global terrorist

, after the uproar in India over the

Pulwama killings +

While the Chinese foreign minister has

condemned the attack +

, there was no mention of Azhar in its statement.

Beijing is weighing its options before taking a decision on the sensitive issue. It was repeatedly helped by Pakistan

Get Azhar listed by the UN Security Council as a global terrorist. +

An indication of an internal review is available in the safe message sent by Chinese State Counselor and foreign minister Wang Yi to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, expressing his condolences for the CRPF jawans. Another sign came from a statement in the Chinese foreign ministry.

China will participate in the

UN Security Council

Discussions for listing Azhar as a global terrorist in “an objective, unbiased and professional manner,” the ministry said before delivering a crucial statement. “We will continue to do so and stay in communication with all parties including India on this issue,” it said. This suggested Beijing’s readiness to review the issue after further consultations with India

Experts say it is too early to expect China to reverse its current stance without getting some advantage. “China may consider a change in its stance on Masood Azhar only after some hard bargaining. It will expect some concessions from India in return, “Phunchok Stobdan, former diplomat and strategic affairs expert told TOI.

Stobdan said a lot depends on how well India is able to deal with the public demands from China. Chinese leaders do not want to be seen as a public demand in India because that would hurt China’s image in Pakistan, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled to visit China on February 21-22 after travelling to Pakistan and India Reports indicate he has cut short his visit to Pakistan by a day and has also canceled a meeting of business delegations of the two countries, possibly due to the

Pulwama attack

.

China, which hopes to develop a “strategic partnership” with Saudi Arabia, is expected to critically weigh signals coming from the Crown Prince, as Saudi Arabia is apparently disapproved by Pakistan’s attitude toward India This may be another reason why Beijing may consider a change in its stance on Masood Azhar.

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