Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that China’s blocking of a proposal to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was not a “diplomatic failure” on the Indian government’s part, which has “worldwide support”.
Swaraj’s comments came a day after the Congress described Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy as “a series of diplomatic disasters” as China blocked the United Nations Security Council’s move. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday had blamed Modi for the latest setback, claiming the prime minister was “weak” and “scared” of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Weak Modi is scared of Xi,” Gandhi said in a tweet. “Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India.”
In a series of tweets on Friday, Swaraj said she wanted to inform people about the facts regarding the listing of Azhar under the United Nations Sanctions Committee. “The proposal has been mooted four times. In 2009, India under the UPA [United Progressive Alliance] government was the lone proposer,” she said. “In 2016, India’s proposal was co-sponsored by the United States, France and the United Kingdom. In 2017, US, UK and France moved the proposal.”
Swaraj said the US, UK and France had also moved the latest proposal, which was supported by 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council. It was also co-sponsored by non-members Australia, Bangladesh, Italy and Japan, she added.
“Thus, we have secured an unprecedented support from the international community for listing of Masood Azhar under the UN Sanctions Committee,” she said. “I have shared these facts with you so that leaders who describe this as our diplomatic failure may see for themselves that in 2009, India was alone. In 2019, India has the worldwide support.”
Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 security forces personnel were killed. Two weeks after the suicide bombing, the US, the UK and France had moved a fresh proposal at the UN Security Council to blacklist Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee. However, China used a technical hold to thwart the proposal, a move that India’s Ministry of External Affairs termed as “disappointing”.
Demanding that Pakistan hand over Azhar to India, Swaraj on Wednesday said Delhi would not negotiate with Islamabad until it creates an atmosphere free of terror.