China defends hold on banning JeM chief Azhar Masood, says there should no 'double standards'
Chinese President Xi Jinping, seen here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will visit India this week
Beijing: Ahead of President Xi Jinping's visit to India, China yesterday said it is "ready" for talks with India on its entry into the NSG but defended extending a hold on India's bid for a UN ban on JeM chief Azhar Masood, saying Beijing is opposed to anyone making "political gains in the name of counter-terrorism."
Briefing media here on Xi's visit to India this week to take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa, China's Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong again harped on the need to build consensus over the admission of new members in the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Asked if any progress on the issue of India's admission into NSG can be expected in the meeting between Xi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Li said NSG rules stipulate consensus among the members to admit new ones.
JeM chief Azhar Masood. Pics/AFP
Replying to a question on criticism about China's move to stall India's bid for a UN ban on Azhar – head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad – Li sought to justify Beijing's recent technical hold in the matter, saying: "China is opposed to all forms of terrorism. There should be no double standards on counter-terrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counter-terrorism," he said in a veiled reference to India, which is pressing for the UN ban against Azhar over his role in the Pathankot terror attack.
China had announced the extension of its "technical hold" on India’s bid to get JeM Chief Azhar Masood designated as a terrorist by the UN on October 1, days before it was to expire. The hold can continue for up to three months more.