Srinagar, Feb 20: Linking China’s move of regularly vetoing attempts to designate chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant outfit Masood Azhar as a “terrorist in United Nations” with China, Jammu and Kashmir Public Works minister Naeem Akhtar has said “such things don’t happen without a reason” and China’s connection with Jaish needs to be understood, media report said.
In a freewheeling interview cum report published in a national newspaper, Akhtar has said: “The Kashmir issue isn’t limited to the fight between India and Pakistan now. There is another major factor involved. It isn’t Pakistan alone, it is China too. General (Bipin Rawat) said that the Army is ready to fight on both fronts. But there aren’t two fronts anymore. Now it is one single front, circling around. From Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Valley to Jammu, Sri Lanka and Maldives, it is all one front. Pakistan and China aren’t separate”.
“All the big attacks inside J&K or even outside during last more than three years are attributed to Jaish-e-Mohammad, a group led by Masood Azhar,” the report further quotes Akhtar as having said.
The report mentions Akhtar mentioning Jaish’s China connection.“How can one not see that he (Masood Azhar) has been adopted by China? There are reports of some action taken against Hafiz Saeed. What about Masood Azhar? Even a lesser figure like Salahudin has been listed as a global terrorist in UN but the great wall of China has been erected around Azhar. China has been regularly vetoing attempts to designate him (Azhar) as a terrorist in United Nations. Such things don’t happen without reason. Why only him? Why not others? Why didn’t China block such moves in UN against other people? The China connection needs to be understood,” the report said.
“At this point, talking to Pakistan and initiating policies of reconciliation inside Kashmir is in the national interest. It is in our national interest that Pakistan doesn’t get irretrievably sucked up by China,’’ the report mentions Akhtar as having said.
Akhtar according to the report also has said:“And when we say talk to Pakistan, we are addressing our own Central government because they have to take that step. We aren’t seeking anything from anybody other than the central government. That’s our right”. Commenting about Modi and Sharief and aftermath of it, the report quotes Akhtar saying:“(The then) Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif comes to attend the oath ceremony of PM Modi. The environment was turning conducive for the beginning of a fresh process between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi goes to attend a wedding in Pakistan…a great gesture to start the process. Pakistani leadership too had been forthcoming,”.
“But once he (PM Modi) returns (from Pakistan), Pathankot attack (January 2016) takes place. Who did it? Jaish. And if you don’t understand the seriousness of China’s role in our current situation, you won’t understand the need to engage Pakistan or initiate a process to engage separatists inside Kashmir,” the report said.