First it was Jaish-e–Mohammed chief Masood Azhar now it is Uighur activist Dolkun Isa. Two people used by New Delhi and Beijing to settle political scores. China first blocked attempt by India in the UN Security Council (UNSC) to declare Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as terrorist and ban him. New Delhi has accused Azhar of masterminding the Pathankot terror attack which killed seven Indian security personnel. China was the only country in the 15 member UNSC to thwart India’s moves to ban Masood Azhar.
China is now unhappy over Indian government’s decision to allow Germany based Uighur activist Isa to participate in a seminar in Dharmasala later this month. The Uighur activist belongs to Munich based World Uyghur Congreess(WUC). China accuses him of terrorist activities and conspiracy to kill people in its restive Xinjiang province. India has allowed the activists to meet Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama also. This is first time New Delhi is playing the Uighur card with Beijing.
The Xinjiang region is China’s trouble torn province on its north western border. China has periodically cracked down on the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority.
India has expressed its displeasure over China’s action of blocking UNSC from designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Its move to issue visa to the Uighur activist is likely to incense China.
Its also a peculiar situation where two terrorists are dominating relations between two economic power houses.
Some days back India’s external affairs minister Sushama Swaraj met her Chinese counterpart and expressed New Delhi’s displeasure over Beijing’s action in the UNSC. Masood Azhar had also come in the way of the India–China relations when prime minister Narendra Modi raised the issue with Chinese president Xi Jinping last year.
After Modi came to power India focused on security related issues with neighbouring countries. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, defence minister Manohar Parikar and external affairs minister took up issues which they consider as more important to Indian security than anything else. Doval and Parikkar are visiting Beijing next week. President Pranab Mukherjee is also scheduled to visit China next month.
New Delhi’s efforts to slap sanctions on Azhar after Mumbai terror attacks was also blocked by Beijing. India sees this was done at the behest of Pakistan. China’s reaction to India allowing a person which Chinese considers as terrorist was reflected in their anger at New Delhi’s decision.
In a rare move, Chinsese officials had earlier blamed that the Uighur militants were being trained in the terror camps that dot its border with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
“Dolkun Isa is a terrorist on red notice of Interpol and the Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is a due obligation of relevant countries,” China’s foreign ministry said. The conference, which Isa is expected to participate is led by Yang Jianli, who China alleges was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The conference organised by the US-based “Citizen Power for China” will be held in Dharmasala, where Tibetan leader Dalai Lama is residing.
India had recently issued visa to Baloch nationalist leader Naela Qadri Baloch, who is living in Canada in exile. The Baloch natioinalists are viewed by Pakistan as secessionists.