Once again China has blocked the bid to designate the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, Masood Azhar, as a global terrorist in the United Nations Security Council. This is the fourth time that China blocked a bid to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. Previously China has blocked the bid in 2009, 2016 and 2017 on the request of its all-weather ally Pakistan.
Terrorists like Masood Azhar have considerable influence over the society of Pakistan. The Islamization of Pakistani society started back in 1970s under the president Zia ul Haq. The youth of Pakistan has been brainwashed through the state machinery and thousands of Madrasas are run by religious extremists like Azhar. Countries like Saudi Arabia fund these Madrasa’s for promoting the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. Therefore average Pakistani youth is so radicalized that it will bomb any Chinese establishment upon the order of Azhar.
The 46 billion dollar investment China made on the CPEC project will not be secure if it goes with listing Azhar as a global terrorist. The Islamic extremists also have influence over Uyghur Muslim community living in Chinese province of Xinjiang. Chinese state leaders also met Taliban leader Mullah Omar who promised that it will not allow Uyghurs to launch an attack on Pakistan. The major interest of China in shielding Azhar remains economic. More than 5 lakh Chinese nationals will be living in Gwadar Port city by 2022 and given the influence and capabilities Azhar has in the region, China does not wish to go against him.
Masood Azhar, the most powerful enemy of India was born in Pakistan. He was trained in an Islamic school named Jamia Uloom-ul-Islamia. The Islamic school based in Karachi has many of the topmost terrorists such as Mullah Omar – the founding leader of Taliban, Asim Umar- leader of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent in its alumni list. He entered Kashmir with a Portuguese passport in the early 1990s when militancy was on the rise in the valley. He was detained and put in jail by Indian authorities in 1994. However, the Indian government freed him in 1999 in exchange for the safety of passengers on an Indian Airlines flight from Katmandu to New Delhi which was hijacked on Christmas Eve in 1999. AjitDoval, the National Security Advisor of the Modi government was the person who negotiated the deal with the terrorists. After that, Azhar founded JeM which became a household name in the valley eventually. It is the most popular terrorist organization in Kashmir and the most dreaded by the Indian government.
Jaish-e-Mohammed, an organization founded and led by the dreaded terrorist Maulana Masood Azhar is responsible for many attacks in Kashmir and many other parts of India. JeM was found to be involved in the Parliament attack in 2001, the Uri and Pathankot attack in 2016, and now the Pulwama attack in 2019. It is designated as a terrorist organization by India, UK, US, Russia, UAE, and United Nations.
Azhar has ties with Al Qaeda and Taliban but Pakistan and China do not want him to be designated as a global terrorist. He entered Kashmir with a Portuguese passport in the early 1990s when militancy was on the rise in the valley. Soon he became a popular figure in the streets of Srinagar, known for making fiery speeches and his role as mediator between various terrorist groups. The Indian government has paid the price of releasing Azhar with the death of hundreds of soldiers and civilians.