In a major development, China has for the first time, publicly acknowledged the role of Pakistan in the coordinated terror attacks that took place in Mumbai between November 26 and 29, 2008 that claimed the lives of 164 people and left another 308 injured.
Chinese State Television CCTV9 has, in a documentary aired recently, highlighted the role of the Lashkar-e-Taiyaba (LeT) and its sponsors in Pakistan in this horrific attack which shook the world.
This change in policy by China is significant in the sense that it is taking place on the eve of the expiry of Beijing’s decision to place on technical hold the listing of three known LeT/JuD(Jamaat-ud-Dawa) militants’ Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, Talha Saeed and Hafiz Abdul Rauf, on June 9, 2016.
The listing of these individuals by the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council in September 2015, had the overwhelming support of all members of the international community, with the exception of China, which acted on Pakistan’s behest.
China is already facing considerable global flak over a similar technical hold over the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Hafiz Saeed, even though the JeM stands listed by the United Nations Sanctions Committee.
China has obviously realized that extending blind support to Pakistan on terror-related issues taints its own reputation as a responsible world power that is seeking to build an international consensus on the need for all countries to jointly fight the menace of terror.