NSA Ajit Doval likely to raise JeM chief Masood Azhar issue with China during visit
New Delhi: India is expected to take up the issue of China blocking its bid to have Pakistan-based terror group JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN when NSA Ajit Doval travels to the neighbouring country next week.
Top government sources said today the National Security Advisor will bring up the topic during his meeting with his counterpart and State Councilor Yang Jiechi when he meets him in China for a strategic dialogue.
Doval was scheduled to hold these talks in January but had cancelled the visit to Beijing in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack. Among other security issues, boundary talks are also expected to be held between the two sides.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar early this week said that India has taken up at a "fairly high level" with China the issue of Beijing blocking its bid to have Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN but the issue will not "overflow" into other areas of bilateral ties.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to raise the issue with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, whom she will be meeting on the sidelines of a trilateral in Moscow on April 18.
Last week, China stopped UN sanctions committee from designating Azhar as terrorist, maintaining that the case "did not meet the requirements" of the Security Council.
This is not the first time China has blocked India's bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.
The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India's efforts for slapping sanctions on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow it apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.
While talking about recent comments made by Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit indicating that Indian investigators may not be allowed to visit Pakistan to pursue the probe in connection with the Pathankot terror attack, the government sources said that results would be seen soon and one should "wait and watch."
"The Indian position is good on this subject," the sources said.
India had countered Basit's comments by saying that before the visit of the Pakistani Joint Investigation Team (JIT) here, both sides had agreed that it would be on the basis of reciprocity.