Pakistani terror group behind the attack on Pathankot Air Force base has thanked China for blocking India's move at the United Nations for sanctions against its chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
China had blocked a petition moved by India in the UN in February to include Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council's 1,267 sanctions list, in the aftermath of the 2 January terror attack in Pathankot.
China, a close ally of Pakistan, requested the UN sanctions committee to keep the move to ban Azhar on hold, maintaining that the JeM chief did not meet the UN criteria to be banned as a terrorist.
Writing in the terror group's mouthpiece Al-Qalam, spokesmaen of the Jaish-e-Mohammad hailed China as a friend.
In his article, Moulana Masood Azhar se Darul Uloom Deoband Tak (from Masood Azhar to Darul Uloom Deoband), JeM's Naveed Masood Hasmi said that it was the almighty and China which saved Azhar, says a report in Oneindia News.
There was heavy lobbying by India and a section of media in Pakistan. However, ''the unexpected happened and Azhar was saved by China'', he wrote.
''When India and its paid agents were going after him, when Sharif government had registered a case against him in Gujranwala and was arresting his associates, when pro-India media (in Pakistan) was running a campaign against him, when supporting Masood Azhar inside Pakistan meant support for terrorism, China intervened and declined the Indian request to put him on the list of terrorists."
''Despite a vicious propaganda not only by Delhi but the pro-India lobby in Pakistan and a particular section of pro-India media (in Pakistan), something happened that no one expected. In the United Nations, China refused an Indian request to put the leader of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad, which operates in occupied Kashmir, Masood Azhar on the list of terrorists. As per a report, after the return of the team of Pakistani investigators from India, Masood Azhar's name was dropped from the Pathankot attack case,'' wrote Hashmi.
''This is called Almighty's help… if it was up to the pro-India lobby in Pakistan and the pro-India media outlets, they would have finished Masood Azhar by now. After the January 2 attack on the airbase in Pathankot, these experts and analysts who live in Pakistan and are part of a pro-India lobby had become more loyal than the king and had started a campaign against Masood Azhar and other jihadis,'' he added.
Meanwhile, India's national Investigating Agency (NIA) has issued a red corner notice against the JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.
India has raised with China at a "high level" the issue of blocking a ban on the JeM chief and NSA Ajit Doval is likely to raise the Azhar issue with China during visit.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is also expected to raise the matter with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi when she meets him at the Russia, India, China trilateral meet in Moscow later this month.