India has taken up Masood Azhar issue with China at a ‘fairly high level’: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar
New Delhi: Over a month after Beijing blocked India’s bid at the United Nations to have Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar declared as a terrorist, India has now said that the matter has been taken up with China at a “fairly high level”.
"We have taken it up with the Chinese at a fairly high level," Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said at the launch of Carnegie India, the sixth international centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
"It's an issue that has to be pursued in the UN context," he added. The clarification follows rumors of India looking to punish China for its stance at the UN. However, the Foreign Secretary clarified that the issue will not be allowed to impact other engagements between the two nations.
"We will continue to engage China on this issue but it's at the UN. This issue will not overflow into other issues," he said.
This was the second time that China blocked India’s attempts to get the Pathankot terror attack mastermind banned by the UN. The move apparently stems from China’s proximity to Pakistan, which has so far denied any involvement in terror attacks on India emanating from its soil.
India had approached the UN in February to include Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council's 1267 sanctions list, in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase by JeM terrorists.
However, China requested the UN sanctions committee to keep on hold the move to ban Masood Azhar.
India has voiced disappointment at the "technical hold" put on its application to include the name of Azhar, in the UN sanctions list, and criticised the UN sanctions committee for adopting a "selective approach to combating terrorism".
Jaishankar, in his speech, said that terrorism would continue to be the mainstay of India's engagement with Pakistan and that a broad-based engagement with it was not on the cards any time soon.
"The issue of terrorism needs to be addressed effectively as it is hard to say that relationship with Pakistan is normal. This is what puts Pakistan in a different category than other neighbours. So yes, terrorism remains the focal point of our relationship and Pathankot has made it so as well," he said.
(With IANS inputs)