China's State TV Names LeT in Mumbai Attacks, Shows Kasab

K J M Varma/Beijing
China's State TV Names LeT in Mumbai Attacks, Shows Kasab

In a rare rebuke to its "all weather" ally Pakistan, China's state-run channels have aired a documentary naming Lashkar-e-Taiyaba for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and even showed footage containing confessions of Ajmal Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist caught alive during the 26/11 carnage.

The footage was first aired by the state-run Shanghai Television weeks ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee's visit last month and was subsequently shown by another state-run Chinese television channel as well, officials here said.

The documentary containing vivid details of planning and execution of the Mumbai attacks by LeT militants caught Indian officials here by surprise as Chinese state media shows extreme care and caution in airing negative news about the all weather ally Pakistan.

The state media largely refrained from allegations that militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) from Muslim-majority Xinjiang province had training bases in Pakistan's tribal areas.

"We have to wait and see what is the significance of the documentary on LeT on Chinese state television," an Indian diplomat, who has seen the programme, told PTI.

It was a surprise as China has earlier blocked India's bid to get a UN ban on LeT operational commander Zaki-ur- Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attack.

China had put a technical hold when India sought a ban on him after he was released from prison.

In March, China had put a technical hold again on attempt to get UN ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar, accused of masterminding the January Pathankot terrorist attack.

China's attempts to block the UN listings against the two has cast a shadow on its relations with India and diplomatic efforts were on between the two sides to resolve the issue.

Officials say the airing of the footage against LeT’s involvement in Mumbai attacks comes at a time when technical holds put in by China in the UN sanctions committee on some of the LeT leaders was set to expire in a few days.

It is to be seen whether there will be a change of stand in China's position in UN, officials said.

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