New Delhi, October 3 (NIA): With Russia finally throwing its lot with India after a brief dalliance with Pakistan, New Delhi hopes to win over China whose recent pro-Pakistan actions and statements are worrying.
India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, met the Chinese Ambassador, Luo Zhaohui, at the South Block here as Russia unequivocally condemned Pakistan’s cross border terrorism. The idea in meeting the envoy was to come to an understanding with China before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Goa on October 15 and 16.
The Doval-Luo meeting comes days after China threw a spanner in India’s attempt to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar in the proscribed terrorist list of the United Nations. This has been the second attempt by Beijing to do thwart India’s attempt at the behest of Pakistan.
Apart from this India has been observing Chinese position on Kashmir as well. Apart from supporting Pakistan, the re-plugging of the old news about China building a dam on the Brahmaputra’s tributary by Chinese news agency Xinhua is being seen as a “testing the waters” move in case India tampers with the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan.
Doval and Luo would seek to work on the differences before Prime Minister Modi and President Jinping meet at BRICS Summit.
New Delhi has been engaging China on the issue of the listing of Masood Azhar, thought to have orchestrated the terror attack on Pathankot airbase in January followed by the Uri attack in September this year. Despite this Beijing, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, extended its technical “hold” on Masood Azhar’s listing as a terrorist by another six months in the UN Security Council’s 1267 committee.
China’s reaction to the India’s claimed surgical strikes in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), where it has projects under the umbrella of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), have not been over the top. It only asked both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint.
Experts attribute this to the strikes being shallow. Beijing would certainly not want the conflict to escalate as it could jeopardize the $ 46 billion CPEC that will provide it an alternate land trade route to the Indian Ocean.
Russia’s Changed Stand
Even as its soldiers are in Pakistan for their maiden joint military drill, Russia on Monday supported India’s surgical strikes by contending that every country has a right to defend itself.
Russia’s Ambassador to New Delhi Alexander M Kadakin on Monday welcomed the surgical strikes conducted by India on the intervening night of September 28-29.
“Greatest human rights violations take place when terrorists attack military installations and attack peaceful civilians in India. We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself,” the Russian Embassy quoted Kadakin to have told an Indian news channel.
India has restrained from officially commenting on the war games between its arch-rival Pakistan and arch-patron Russia. The only saving grace for New Delhi was that Moscow canceled the last leg of the military exercise planned in the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The Russian Envoy tried to ally India’s discomfort at the growing proximity between Islamabad and Moscow.
“India should not be concerned about military exercises between Russia and Pakistan because the theme of the exercise is anti-terror fighting. That’s in India’s interest that we teach the Pakistani army not to use itself for terror attacks against India. And the exercise was not held in any sensitive or problematic territories like Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu”, said the Russian Ambassador.
The exercise is being seen a response to the deepening of defense cooperation between India and the US.
Moscow condemned the Uri attack and asked Pakistan to make more efforts to rein in terrorists in its territory.
With India seeking to diversify its defense purchases, buying from the US and European countries, Pakistan has tried to woo Russia and has expressed an interest in buying Sukhoi fighter jets.