New Delhi: The Pulwama terrorist attack was carried out by ‘Mohammad Army’ (as Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad is referred to in Chinese language) and it pushed lukewarm India-Pakistan ties to a new low, creating tensions in South Asia after the Wuhan Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had helped stabilise the situation, said a state-run daily that reflects the views of the government in Beijing.
“In response to this attack India wants to expand its influence. The Indian government said it had irrefutable evidence that Pakistan was involved in the attack. This can be serious. It accuses a country of participating in such an attack,” said a translated version of a report published last week in the Chinese daily Sina International.
The report claimed that the forthcoming general election in India had forced the Modi government to adopt a tough stance on the attack. “Modi is trying every way to get re-elected. In this case, he is likely to choose a radical approach,” it said.
Any action by Pakistan against ‘Mohammad Army’ will be very difficult in the absence of mutual trust between India and Pakistan, the report said. “However, Western countries such as the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Australia all stood by the Indian side. Obviously, the West wants to pick up the India-Pakistan conflict and create something around China. In response to this situation, if India makes a big fuss and launch a large-scale military operation in Kashmir, then the military conflict between India and Pakistan will reach its peak. How the situation evolves depends on the attitude of India and the political goals the Modi government wants to achieve,” it said.
The attack will not have much impact on India-China relations and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor if the situation subsides after the initial tensions, said the report. “China will continue to pay attention to the tension in South Asia caused by this attack. China hopes that India can make wise choices,” it said.
A recent article in the Chinese version of the state-run Global Times (which reflects views of the Chinese government) claimed that the Western media had taken the opportunity to provoke China-India relations to shift the focus from the attack itself to China. “The United Nations has a strict set of procedures for listing terrorist organisations and individuals. India’s requirements can be understood, but India cannot be arbitrary,” the article said. “In fact, the ‘East Turkistan Islamic Movement’ (ETIM) in China’s Xinjiang has also been listed on the UN 1267 Committee’s list of terrorist groups. China has also asked for some specific people to be listed but it cannot happen according to one’s own wishes,” said an English translation of the article.
The article alleged that the India media was playing into the hands of the US and creating tensions between India and China in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack even as the Indian government maintained strategic autonomy in its foreign policy.