Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday hit out at Prime Minster Narendra Modi after China again blocked a UN resolution to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, alleging that the PM was “weak” and “scared” of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Congress termed the development at the UN as a sad day in the fight against terrorism.
India’s bid to designate the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief as a global terrorist suffered a setback with China on Wednesday putting a technical hold on a proposal to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack.
The party alleged that a “weak-kneed Modi government’s failed jhoola (swing)- diplomacy’ has hurt India’s national interests” and that the BJP had let Azhar off the hook again.
It also asked Modi what was the use of his “swinging” with Xi.
Gandhi attacked the prime minister and said he has not spoken on China blocking the resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC).
“Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NoMo’s China diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat. 2. Hug Xi in Delhi. 3. Bow to Xi in China,” he said on Twitter.
Slamming the government, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was a sad day in the fight against terrorism and asked Modi whether he will answer to the nation on why he became “maun Modi’ (silent Modi)” when India’s interests were being compromised.
“China blocking Masood Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist reaffirms China’s position of being an inseparable ally of terrorism’s breeding ground-Pakistan,” he said.
“Sadly, Modiji’s foreign policy has been a series of diplomatic disasters,” the party spokesperson said.
He alleged that the current situation is an outcome of a “weak-kneed Modi government bending over backwards before China over the last five years”.
This has “culminated into the present state of things where the Chinese have blocked terrorist Azhar’s declaration as an international terrorist, without any reason and only to please its ally Pakistan,” Surjewala said.
He alleged that Modi remained silent when China built a full-fledged military complex in Doklam only 10 metres from Indian Army posts and intruded into the Chicken Neck-Siliguri Corridor through south Doklam.
China built the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC), worth USD 54 billion, through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan to connect the Gwadar Port to China, but the BJP remained quiet, Surjewala alleged, claiming that the party was also silent on China mining on the border with Arunachal Pradesh and attempting to build tunnels.
The Congress leader also asked why the prime minister was not questioning China on it upgrading an air base on the border with Sikkim.
China opposes India’s membership in the UN Security Council and recently it “firmly opposed” the prime minister’s Arunachal Pradesh visit.It has violated Indian airspace in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh several times in the past five years, but Modi has been silent, he alleged.
“With China having blocked our bid to designate Azhar a global terrorist, the question on every Indian’s mind is, what was the use of all the swinging with Modi and President Xi,” the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.
The “terrorist responsible for such bloody murders is let off the hook again by the BJP,” it claimed.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the JeM killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Congress has also been attacking the BJP over Azhar’s release in the 1999 Kandahar hijacking case, with Gandhi asking Modi to tell the nation that it was a BJP-led government which released the terrorist from an Indian jail in that year.
He has also alleged that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, a top intelligence official back then, had “escorted” Azhar to Kandahar where he was handed over to terrorists.
Azhar and two other terrorists, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, were released from Indian prison in 1999 by the then BJP-led government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in exchange for the passengers held hostage on board IC-814 flight hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan.