03 Nov 2017/Friday

China’s  blockage to another bid by the US, France and the UK to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, has weakened the international efforts to fight terror in a comprehensive manner. Notwithstanding this development, the question now is to what is likely to happen next.

Why China abandoned its policy of ambiguity to come out openly in support of Pakistan in protecting Azhar, by finally blocking this motion?

China had no option but to bail Pakistan as designation of Massod Azhar as a global terrorist would have put Pakistan in category of states sponsoring terror and further enhanced its isolation. A worsening security situation in Pakistan would not only retard its economic growth but also ultimately affect China’s ambitious CPEC project. China therefore, would like to be seen as a ‘good-terrorist friendly state’, to garner good will amongst Pakistan based terrorists. More importantly, Pakistan’s support in shielding China in the OIC against caustic remarks on Beijing’s crackdowns on its Muslim Uyghur community, in its restive Xinjiang province, has been well appreciated by China. Islamabad has also stood up against any move to castigate Beijing on its conduct in the South China Sea, number of times in past. So, it is an effective Quid Pro Quo.

How will it affect India?

With JeM feeling obliged to its masters for the bail out, Pak Army will now seek its pound of flesh, in all probability. With this, Jaish’s foot prints in J &K militancy are likely to increase, which has suffered a serious setback with recent elimination of top militant leadership. With Hurriyatt and other militant groups like HM and LeT more or less marginalised, JeM emerges as a top choice for reviving the dying militancy in J & K. JeM has battle-hardened terrorists and highly motivated suicide bombers. The strategy would be to attempt infiltration of these battle-hardened terrorists along with a fine mix of SSG personnel before the closure of passes on the Line of Control. As the events in Kashmir suggest the JeM is likely to have a lead role in spearheading the militancy in Kashmir. Fidayeen attacks will increase in numbers with an aim to undermine the successes of the security forces. The security situation in Kashmir is likely to be adversely affected with this development.

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