China likely to soften stand on Masood Azhar in a month
China is likely to ease its hard position on the issue of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar within a month, sources indicated on Monday, after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale shared "all evidences" with the Chinese leadership in Beijing about the Pakistan-based outfit's terror activities.
Gokhale, who is on a two-day visit to Beijing, held extensive talks on Monday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the issue of listing Azhar as an international terrorist by the UN Security Council (UNSC).
After the meeting, sources indicated that China, which has been blocking the move at the UNSC, could ease its hard position.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "We have shared with China all evidences of terrorist activities of Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee (of the UN Security Council) and other authorized bodies of the UN to take a decision on listing of Masood Azhar (as international terrorist)."
He was responding to queries on discussions that the Foreign Secretary held in Beijing with regard to proscribing of Azhar.
China has been blocking India's move, which is supported by countries like the US, the UK and France, at the UNSC to enlist Azhar as an international terrorist.
Last month, Beijing placed a latest "technical hold", for the fourth time, on a US-sponsored resolution against Azhar, a move that India called "disappointing".
"India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice," the MEA spokesperson said.
JeM has been responsible for a number of terror attacks in India over the last two decades, including the one on Parliament on December 13, 2001.
There has been an increased pitch for proscribing Azhar in the aftermath of the ghastly Pulwama terror attack on February 14, which was claimed by JeM.
Gokhale, in his opening remarks at his meeting with Wang and Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, said China should be "sensitive" to India's concerns.
"We will work together with the Chinese side to deepen mutual understanding, strengthen mutual trust to implements the decisions that are taken by the leaders and do it in a manner where we are sensitive to each other's concerns," Gokhale said.
Gokhale, who was earlier India's Ambassador to China, said both sides were working to implement what was agreed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Wuhan summit last year.
"It's been a year since our leaders met in Wuhan and my colleagues...and I have been following up on efforts to implement the understandings that were reached at the meeting.
"Last year, we had very brisk political exchanges including your visit to Delhi for the first high-level meeting for people to people exchange was an important development. And my Minister (Foreign) looks forward to coming for the second meeting in China later this year," he added.
Wang stressed the need for India and China to step up strategic communication and cooperation.
"China and India are two major countries and neighbours. They are also two emerging market countries and are each other's emerging partners.
"In this sense, it's very important for the two countries to work together to increase strategic communications, even the geopolitical trust and strategic cooperation on international and regional issues."IANS