Masood Azhar ban: 'Burden of proof' not on India, foreign secretary tells China

BEIJING: India on Wednesday hit out at China for demanding "solid evidence" for getting JeM chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN. 

Reacting to China's demand for'solid proof' on Masood Azhar , foreign secretary S Jaishankar said the extent of Masood Azhar's actions was "well- documented" and the "burden of proof" was not on India. 

BLOG | Why China is reluctant to act against Masood Azhar at this point 

Jaishankar on Wednesday held extensive interactions with top Chinese officials at the upgraded strategic dialogue co-chaired by him in Beijing. 

Briefing the media later, Jaishankar said the talks were "useful" in conveying India's concerns and priorities on key issues. 

"On the issue of 1267 Committee's sanctions on Masood Azhar , we again explained the rationale for that application and pointed out that this was really pursued by other countries, not by India alone," Jaishankar said, referring to the US' application backed by the UK and France this year to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. 

On the Chinese foreign ministry calling for "solid evidence" to get Azhar banned, Jaishankar said, "In the case of Azhar, Jaish itself is proscribed under 1267. So the proof is in (the) 1267 Committee action. In this case what he has done, extent of his actions are well-documented." 

"Also the proposal in question this time is not moved by us. It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The sponsors seem to be very well convinced, otherwise they would not have taken the initiative to move the proposal," he said. 

About China saying that there is no consensus on the issue, the foreign secretary said, "There is no consensus because China has not joined it". 

Since the 1267 Committee proceedings are not public, he said, "Our understanding is that there is overwhelming support in the 1267 (Committee). This (is) what we are told". 

"Other countries should be asked. The 1267 Committee is not for public. Our understanding (is that) there is overwhelming support in the 1267 (Committee). This (is) what we are told," Jaishankar said. 

"On the NSG issue , (the) Chinese side underlined that they are open to India's application for membership. They have their view of procedures and processes. These were different from where we are at the moment and most of the group is at the moment," he said, referring to the wide support India's application enjoyed in the 48-member elite grouping which controls global nuclear commerce. 

"I would say, overall, I felt my visit was certainly useful in conveying to the Chinese side our concerns and priorities and gaining from them an appreciation and their understanding of the world situation and in what manner we could work together," he said. 

Besides holding talks with China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi on Tuesday, Jaishankar met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi this morning before co-chairing the strategic dialogue with Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. 

This is the first time China has fielded an executive Vice Minister who is also the head of the Foreign Ministry unit of the ruling Chinese Communist Party

Highlighting the issues of concerns for India, Jaishankar said both the NSG and Azhar issues have been discussed. 

UN has already listed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), which is headed by Azhar, as a terror organisation. 

China put a technical hold twice last year when India moved the application after the Pathankot terrorist attack. 

Beijing again repeated its action this year when the US moved the application . 

Pointing to the wider support for getting Azhar banned, Jaishankar said, "the fact that other countries were pressing for this application showed that there was broad intentional support for this and concern about Masood Azhar's activities".


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