The Sino-Indian deadlock over a United Nations ban on Jaish-e- Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and others may end if India resubmits its application focussing on evidence against him than attempting to “censure” Pakistan, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said after talks with Chinese officials.
“My impression is that India can expect cooperation from China on the issue of declaring Masood Azhar, leader of JeM, as terrorist who should face trial in India, if India in the UN concentrated more on him than seeking to censure Pakistan as a sponsor of terror,” Swamy said.
Swamy, who is on a pilgrimage to Kailash-Manasarovar in Tibet, said he is visiting China in an individual capacity as an “old friend” but with the knowledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior ministers of his cabinet.
The BJP leader said “as a tactical move it would (be) prudent (to) resubmit the complaint in UN which was blocked after China put a technical hold.”
“Based on what I learnt here, I will be very surprised if China continues to obstruct once it is limited to hard evidence,” said Swamy after meeting Wang Guo Qing, director of the foreign affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee, and Wu Hailong, president of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.
He said the application submitted by India in UN was more Pakistan-centric than Azhar. “I think for the limited purpose it was submitted which was to get UN sanctions, the report should be resubmitted,” he said.
“I assume the Chinese would find it difficult to say no, once the report is limited to hard evidence. In fact it would (be a) good idea if there is pre-UN trilateral consultation between India, China and Pakistan,” he said.
China, which previously blocked India’s attempts to get a UN ban on Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, also put a hold on listing of Azhar as global terrorist for his role in the Pathankot attack.
The issue has cast a shadow on bilateral ties as India has expressed disappointment over China’s actions while the two countries are seeking a way out to end the impasse.
The issue also figured in the just concluded visit of President Pranab Mukherjee.
Swamy suggested India, China and Pakistan trilateral talks to address the issues of cross border terrorism.
He said Prime Minister Modi is working hard to resume dialogue with Pakistan, but the “problem is that we can only talk to the constitutional authority in Pakistan which is the prime minister, who do not seem to have a final word. The army seems to have veto along with the ISI and Mullahs.”
“China being a friend of Pakistan can help peace in South Asia by encouraging the constitutional authorities to assert their authority. If China convenes a tripartite meeting on India-China-Pakistan on issue of terrorism because terrorism from Pakistan is no longer a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan any more. It is also trilateral issue as terrorists from Pakistan also go to (Muslim-majority) Xinjiang,” he said.
Swamy claimed that China also recognises that terror emanates from Pakistan’s soil even though it do not admit openly because of its friendship.
“You can say I am confident that our government would welcome such a trilateral meeting on terrorism because terrorists from Pakistan are going to both India and China. My expectation our government will welcome,” he said.
“I intend to urge the PM to consider this as an initiative when he comes here for G20 meeting,” Swamy said.
Modi is expected to attend the G20 meet scheduled to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September.
Asked if China is open to such a proposal, he said, “I think China will find it very hard to refuse such a proposal from India based on my conversations here.”
“In my opinion China is already an observer country in SAARC. So they have a legitimate role to play in helping SAARC solving it problems. Now the problem of terrorism not only affects India, they are not going to be umpires but also affected parties. India and China are affected parties from terror based in Pakistan,” he said.
“We should be able to get Pakistan to comply to many things if we have trilateral meeting. They will find it very difficult to say no China,” he said.
Swamy, accompanied by Indian Charge d’affaires Bala Bhaskar, on Monday visited the China Tibetology Research Centre here which has no links with India despite collaboration with 22 other countries.
This is first time an Indian official delegation has been invited to the centre which focusses on research on Tibet, Swamy said and proposed collaboration between the centre and Indian Council of Cultural Research.
On Tuesday he met Chinese Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin and discussed India’s concerns over rapidly increasing trade imbalance between the two countries which touched about $48 billion last year.
Swamy proposed cross border economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts in Tibet besides a chair on Hindu religion in Tibetan university and chair on Mahayana Buddhism in an Indian university.
He also welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal to allow more Indian pilgrims to Kailash-Manasarovar through the new Sikkim route which was opened last year.
The proposal to allow more than the previously agreed 250 people was conveyed by Xi during his meeting Mukherjee.
China has organised Kailash yatra for about 35 years without interruption despite problems in the bilateral ties, he said.