Manohar Parrikar raises JeM chief Masood Azhar issue with Chinese counterpart
Beijing: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today firmly conveyed India’s reservations to Chinese leaders over Beijing blocking its efforts to get Pakistan-based JeM head Masood Azhar banned by the UN and sought clarification on it as well as China’s projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan, Parrikar said that “India attaches highest priority to relations with China and was committed to further developing friendly and cooperative relations with China”.
While expressing India’s wish to engage China closely, he firmly conveyed New Delhi’s reservations over Beijing’s move in the UN to block bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief banned.
”We expressed what happened in the UN is not in the right direction and they have to take a common line on terrorism which is in the interests of India and China,” Parrikar later told the Indian media here.
He said the Chinese officials in response noted India’s concerns.
Last month, China had vetoed India’s bid to get Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN Sanctions Committee, maintaining that the case “did not meet the requirements” of the Security Council.
India believes Azhar is the mastermind behind several attacks in the country, including the terror strike on an air base in Pathankot early this year.
”We have made our stand very clear on India’s reservation in regard to China’s activities in PoK” where Pakistan and China are building a USD 46 billion Economic Corridor linking the two countries, the defence minister said.
The Chinese officials in turn explained that it is an economic project and not aimed against India.
”Basically our concerns were noted by them and I expect them to act,” Parrikar said, adding that more engagement between the two countries would address such issues in future, while immediate response cannot be expected.
He later met China’s highest military official Gen Fan Changlong, the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, which is the overall commanding body of the 2.3 million strong military. It is headed by President Xi Jinping.
The defence minister would meet Premier Li Keqiang tomorrow and later visit Chengdu, the headquarters of recently integrated western command military which has jurisdiction over entire borders with India.