Beijing: India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale will be on a two-day China visit from Sunday to meet Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi where he is likely to discuss the issue of blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar. He will be visiting Beijing for regular consultation and is scheduled to meet Wang on Monday, an official at the Indian Embassy said here.
Gokhale’s visit comes at a time when Beijing is facing mounting international pressure to declare Azhar, wanted in India for grisly terror attacks, an international terrorist at a UN 1267 sanctions committee. The top Indian diplomat is visiting China the same week when Beijing holds the second edition of the Belt and Road forum, which New Delhi is highly likely to skip over the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity. The issues of China shielding Azhar and India opposing Beijing’s ambitious connectivity project have caused frictions between the two Asian powers that already deal with a festering border dispute. China’s repeated blocking of all the resolutions by India, the US, Britain and France seeking a ban on Azhar has frustrated New Delhi, which calls itself a victim of terrorism emanating from Pakistan. China is Pakistan’s closest ally. Gokhale will likely raise the matter with Wang, who is also China’s top diplomat. Besides, it is also to be seen if India’s opposition to the Belt and Road forum will figure in the talks. (IANS)
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