China blocks ban on JeM chief as it fears for its CPEC
Fearing a backlash from Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the possibility of the terror group targeting the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is prompting China to block efforts to designate Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, intelligence assessments reveal.
The project in Gilgit-Baltistan cuts through areas like Mansehra and Khaitan Pakhtunkhwa that are JeM strongholds. The air strike by the Indian Air Force on February 26 on the Balakot terror camp was also in the same area. Intelligence inputs also indicate the terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have infiltrated into those working on the project. Many labourers are from terror organisations who keep an eye on the working, intelligence reports suggest.
Around 12,000 Chinese workers and engineers are working in that area and their lives could be in danger if China acts against JeM chief Masood Azhar.
China has been repeatedly using veto powers as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and once again used the tactic to raise objections and block efforts to ensure Masood Azhar is not declared a global terrorist.
"China is fearing possible kidnapping or killings of their men in case of any strong stand against Jaish," said an intelligence official.
China is also involved other development works including a hydro power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. China is engaged in the construction of Kohra Hydro (1100 MW), Karat Hydro, Azad Pattan project (640 MW) and Mahi Hydro power project (640 MW). As per agencies, China fears that lives of their people could be in jeopardy in case of a strong action against Masood Azhar.
Despite strong evidence provided to the UNSC in the form of video and audio clips of Masood Azhar propagating terror, China did not support him being declared a global terrorist.
Disclosures made by a Pakistani belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad to US agencies, a speech of Maulana Masood Azhar hailing the suicide bomber Adil Dar who killed 40 CRPF troops in Pulwama and articles of JeM journal Al Qalam are among the evidence listed against the terror group and its chief.
Audio and video clips of other lectures given by Masood Azhar to indoctrinate young recruits at Balakot were also part of the dossier given to United Nation Security Council.