Bringing political discourse to Mumbai

Updated: May 24, 2019, 07:40 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Following the UN's designation of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a think tank ropes in experts to shed light on the development

Bringing political discourse to Mumbai
Pic/Getty images

Dating back to the 1950s and rekindled in 1998, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — a series of infrastructural projects in Pakistan which are a part of a Chinese flagship project — has been a constant source of corrosion in Indo-Pak relations. It got further concretised in 2016 when Chinese cargo ships were transported to Gwadar Port. Now, the issue Indian diplomats have with CPEC is that it will pass through the Gilgit-Baltistan in PoK, which our government considers its own territory.

And a major concern that India has had is vis-a-vis cross-border terrorism, which is likely to flourish with increased access to Indian territory actualised by this corridor. And so, for years, while India had been pushing for the UN to recognise Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the move was continually opposed by China.

On April 30, the UN designated Azhar as a global threat. It was a major diplomatic win for India. But why did China change its mind? That is what a talk at Observer Research Foundation's Mumbai chapter hopes to dissect, along with top bureaucrats and experts Gautam Bambawale, former Ambassador to Pakistan and China, Prabha Rao, an expert on radicalisation in Asia, and author Tilak Devasher.

Guide
Gautam Bambawale and Dhaval Desai

"There is a lot of inference made by the media, but people who have held important positions in the diplomatic circles are better placed to comment on this," explains Dhaval Desai, head of ORF, Mumbai.

"Most of this discourse is confined to Delhi. But Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, it's an irony that even mega industrial and business events are all held in the capital," Desai laments. "This is a matter of national and international significance, because the right-minded world has managed to come together against terrorism," he shares.

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