New Delhi: After a long and arduous effort by India and the US to impose sanctions and list Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Abdul Rehman Makki under the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaida and ISIL (Dae’sh) Sanctions Committee — also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee — China Thursday put a “technical hold” on the process. India subsequently said the move could expose China itself to the threat of terrorism.
According to official sources, on 1 June, India and the US jointly proposed to list Makki as a terrorist. Both India and the US have already listed Makki as a terrorist under their domestic laws.
Makki has been involved in “raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youth to violence and planning attacks in India”, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir, sources said on condition of anonymity.
“This decision by China is extremely unfortunate given the overwhelming evidence against Makki. Moreover, it runs counter to China’s claims of combating terrorism. This is not the first time that China has placed hurdles for the listing of known terrorists,” said an official after China placed the hold at the UN.
“In the past, it had repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based and UN-proscribed terrorist entity, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).”
Azhar was listed as a global terrorist in 2019 after 10 years of India pushing for the proposal.
The official said: “China should reflect on its response that signals double standards on combating terrorism. Protecting well-known terrorists from sanctioning in this manner will only undermine its credibility and risk exposing even itself more to the growing threat of terrorism.”
The proposal to list Makki under the UN Security Council sanctions regime was circulated to all members of the 1267 Committee under a no-objection procedure until 16 June 2022, sources said.
The sources added that, “regrettably”, on 16 June, China placed a “technical hold” on the proposal to list Makki. Such a move, which can last for up to 6 months at a time, blocks the adoption of the listing proposal until the hold is withdrawn.
Sources said it was under Makki’s leadership that the LeT masterminded and executed 26/11, besides the Red Fort attack on 22 December 2000, Rampur CRPF Camp attack on 1 January 2008, Karan Nagar (Srinagar) attack on 12-13 February 2018, Khanpora (Baramulla) attack on 30 May 2018, Srinagar attack on 14 June 2018, and Gurez/Bandipora attack on 7 August 2018.
At the time, Makki was heading the Jamaat ud-Dawa (JuD), the LeT’s front organisation, sources said.
Makki has also served as head of the LeT’s “foreign relations” department, sources said. He is a member of the Shura (governing body) as well as the JuD’s central and proselytizing team, sources added.
He is the brother-in-law of LeT/JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who is a UN-proscribed terrorist, sources said.
Makki was reportedly arrested by the Pakistan government on 15 May 2019, and was kept under house arrest in Lahore. In 2020, he was convicted of terror financing and sentenced to prison by a Pakistani court.
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Pakistan jailed Makki fearing FATF
In August 2020, Pakistan put Makki behind the bars due to the fear of being pushed into the ‘blacklist’ of terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
After this hold by China, Pakistan’s all-weather friend, the FATF may once again tighten its grip on Islamabad and its exit from the ‘greylist’ in which it is now might become difficult, said another source.
FATF’s blacklist features countries that the group has considered non-cooperative in the global fight against terrorism and money-laundering. A ‘greylist’ is considered to be less punitive than the blacklist.
The FATF, which was having its Plenary, will announce the final outcome Friday.
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)
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