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Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Northeast Today

Best Way To Deal With China? Befriend Pakistan

Best Way To Deal With China? Befriend Pakistan
March 15
11:46 2019

NET Bureau

An unfriendly act. There is no other way to describe China’s fourth veto in ten years on a UN proposal for a ban on Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM), the Pakistan-based terror organisation.

Beijing’s reason for being the only P5 country to say ‘No’ to the resolution to declare Azhar as a global terrorist is most disingenuous. “There is no consensus.” Well, if you are the only naysayer, there will, of course, never be any consensus. “We need more time to examine the evidence.” For a nation that has set numerous world records in the speed of executing projects, this explanation is a disgrace.

India’s friends in China – and their number is not small – should know that their government’s decision has disappointed and angered all sections of Indian society. Supporting Pakistan is one thing. There is, frankly, nothing wrong with that, since Pakistan is China’s neighbour and any two neighbours anywhere should have friendly and cooperative relations. But supporting a terror organisation? One that has a well-documented record of terrorist attacks in India? One that has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred? One whose heinous crimes include two assassination attempts on Pakistan’s own former president Pervez Musharraf?

What would Chinese people and the rulers in Beijing think if any foreign-based and foreign-sponsored separatist organisation, motivated by the same Islamist ideology that energises JeM, were to carry out similar attacks on Chinese army/paramilitary personnel in Muslim-majority Xinjiang province? And what would they say if any member of the world community repeatedly came to the defense of its chief? As a friend of China, it pains me to say that Beijing has misused its veto power by its decision that is both hypocritical and morally indefensible.

More pertinently, China is not helping either itself or its “iron friend” Pakistan by coming to the rescue of the head of a terrorist organisation. I have often said to my Chinese friends: “Do not be under the illusion that this snake of terrorism and separatism, which drinks milk from the pot of Islamist extremism, can bite only India. Someday it can bite China much harder than it is already doing now.”

Beijing’s decision at the UN may temporarily help the ruling establishment in Islamabad in continuing with its crafty policy of making a distinction between “bad terrorists” (who attack Pakistan and kill Pakistanis – 70,000 of them, as its Prime Minister Imran Khan himself recently admitted) and “good terrorists” (who target and bleed India). But when the ideology that nourishes terrorism is the same, the “good” terrorists can certainly turn “bad” at a later date. Hasn’t Pakistan itself had a bitter taste of this malign metamorphosis? A section of the Talibanis it trained, indoctrinated and armed for the ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan later turned against Pakistan’s own army and civilians.

The real question is: How should India deal with China? In my opinion, with a consistent approach that is a combination of four principles – Realism, Firmness, Friendliness and Innovative Thinking.

That India has to be realistic in dealing with China is obvious to all except to those who foolishly imagine that our northern neighbour can and should be “contained”. They further daydream that containment of China could become successful if India partnered with USA, Japan and Australia in the so-called “Quadrilateral” or “Asian NATO”. China has become so strong economically, so powerful militarily, and so adroit diplomatically, that Quad can never take off. Indeed, any signs of India wanting to join an anti-China block can only sharpen Beijing’s antagonism towards New Delhi. And this will erode the painstaking progress India and China have made over the past few decades in improving bilateral relations. China is, and will always remain, our neighbour, and good-neighbourliness is in the vital interest of both our countries.

However, this does not mean India should show pusillanimity whenever Beijing behaves in an unfriendly manner. Howsoever strong and big a nation may be, even the smallest nation has the right to question it if its conduct is morally weak. And India is by no means a small and powerless nation, and the realists in China know this. Our firmness on the issue of terrorism will sooner or later make the rulers in Beijing realise what is best in their own interest.

 

Source: NDTV

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