China has emphasised “responsible and serious discussions” as diplomacy picked pace ahead of the date for UN Security Council’s sanctions committee to take up a fresh resolution for listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, reported the Dawn.
“China will continue to communicate and work with relevant parties in a responsible manner so as to properly resolve this matter. Only by making a decision through responsible and serious discussions can we resolve the issue in a sustainable manner,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a media briefing in Beijing while responding to a query about China’s position on the issue.
China has thrice in the past blocked on technical grounds bids for designation of Azhar as a terrorist by the UNSC. The United States, the United Kingdom and France have once again moved for Azhar’s listing after Feb 14 Pulwama attack, which was claimed by JeM. The resolution moved on Feb 28 has to be taken up by the 1267 Sanctions Committee by March 13.
According to Kang, Beijing sees recent escalation between India and Pakistan as “not conducive to the peace and stability in South Asia” and it mediated to defuse the situation. “In our exchanges of views on regional situation, the security issue features in our discussion with Indian and Pakistan. We have had extensive and in-depth talks with both sides,” he said in a reference to China discussing Azhar listing with both sides.
The tensions between India and Pakistan escalated following the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir, which killed 49 CRPF personnel and which was claimed by militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Following the attack, the Foreign Secretary of India had said on Tuesday that they have ‘struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot in the pre-dawn ‘preemptive strikes across the Line of Control’.
“India struck the biggest camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot and a large number of terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis planning terror strikes were eliminated,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said.
Gokhale had added that India’s “non-military preemptive action” was specifically targeted at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp.
“Credible intelligence was received that Jaish-e-Mohammed was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and Fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose,” he had said.
“India has given proof many times seeking action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and others at terror camps so big, that they can train hundreds of jihadis and terrorists at any given time. But due to Pakistan’s inaction, this step was necessary and had to be taken,” he had said.
Earlier, India has said that they carried out a pre-dawn strike on a ‘militant camp’ across the Line of Control soon after Pakistan army said that Indian fighter jets were forced to leave after they crossed the LoC in Muzaffarabad sector.
According to reports, the strike was carried out at around 3:30 Tuesday morning by 12 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. The aircraft dropped, according to reports, ‘1,000 kg laser-guided bombs on a major militant camp across the Line of Control, completely destroying it’, news agency ANI reported, quoting Air Force sources.
Earlier, Pakistan Army claimed that the Indian military planes “intruded” from the Muzaffarabad sector but were forced to go back after Pakistan Air Force “immediately scrambled”.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan during a joint Parliament session on Thursday said that as a gesture of peace, they would return captured Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan to India.
He further stated that he was ready for talks with India and de-escalate tensions between both countries.
During the session, he said that the reason of escalation between India and Pakistan was the Kashmir dispute.
“All of this is because of Kashmir,” PM Khan said while addressing a joint session of parliament.
“I want to ask the Indian public about all that has happened over the past 4 years. There is an indigenous movement in Kashmir. At one point, Kashmiri leaders had not wanted separation, but because of Indian brutality, today all they demand is independence.”