China backing Pakistan on Lakhvi comes a month after Modi visit

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) Over a month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-hyped visit to China when the two sides agreed to cooperate in counter terrorism, India said it has taken up with China “at the highest political level” its concerns over Beijing backing Islamabad in the UN over the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

The ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup told newspersons that India has also conveyed its concerns to the chair of the 1267 UN Committee, also known as the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.

“The government had taken up the issue of violation of the 1267 sanctions regime in respect of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,” Swarup said.

“Our concerns in this matter were conveyed to the Chair of the 1267 Committee. The 1267 Committee has been created under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and decisions are binding on all member countries of UN.

A Our concerns in the mater were conveyed to the chair of 1267 committee, and we also raised it bilaterally with other members of the committee. In the matter of China, it has been taken up at the highest political level,” he said.

The May 15 joint statement issued during Modi’s visit to China says the two sides “reiterated their strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and committed themselves to cooperate on counter-terrorism”.

Both sides also agreed “there is no justification for terrorism and urged all countries and entities to work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists, in accordance with the relevant principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international laws. They called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism”, the joint statement said.

India had written to the UN Security Council Al-Qaeda sanctions committee last month against the furnishing of bail bond for Lakhvi saying that it was a violation of the financial sanctions imposed on him.

On June 15, the UN sanctions committee met at India’s request during which the panel chair, Jim McLay, New Zealand’s permanent representative, was in favour of calling Pakistan to give an explanation on Lakhvi’s release.

However, the move was blocked by China, which Asaid that there was not enough information to summon Pakistan.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukherjee had said Lakhvi’s release by a Pakistani court was in violation of the 1267 UN resolution dealing with designated entities and individuals.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said no talks can be held with Pakistan so long as Lakhvi is walking free.

Sushma Swaraj has said Modi had also “very strongly” raised the issue regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during his visit to Beijing, and termed the project “unacceptable”.

The CPEC passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.


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