Masood Azhar
File image of JeM chief Masood Azhar | Commons
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New Delhi: The US has once again slammed China for holding up the ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar at the UNSC 1267 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee even as it lambasted Beijing for its “abuses” on Uighur Muslims.

“The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN,” US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo tweeted Thursday.

Pompeo’s tweet came after his meeting with survivors and family members of China’s campaign of repression and mass detention against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of minority groups in Xinjiang.

Pompeo said China has detained over a million Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang — a semi-autonomous territory in northwest China where the Turkic minority community lives — and that US stands with them. He asked China to release all the detainees and end their repression.

Also read: Masood Azhar issue will be resolved soon, says Chinese envoy to India

Resolution at UNSC

In a move to step up the international pressure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the US Wednesday also moved a draft resolution at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to blacklist Masood Azhar.

The resolution against the Pakistan-based terror group’s chief received support from France and the UK as well.

The JeM has taken responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack on 14 February, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The US resolution came two weeks after China put a ‘technical hold’ on a proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

UN sources told news agency PTI that this is the “first time” the US, the UK and France have moved a draft resolution directly in the Security Council to designate Azhar. Previously, there were listing proposals in the Sanctions Committee of the UNSC to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

The PTI report quoted sources to say that the draft resolution will be discussed informally and will then go to the UNSC.

The draft resolution would condemn “in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing” on 14 February in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, added the report.

Also read: Let China block Masood Azhar listing at UN, India must carry on with Wuhan spirit

Listing Azhar

After China put a ‘technical hold’ on listing Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN on 13 March, the Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaoui had said he is “optimistic” that the matter will be “resolved soon” and that it needs time for more consultations.

France has already imposed a ban on the JeM founder while it has also moved a proposal for a EU-wide blacklisting on him.

Listing Azhar as an international terrorist at the UN will entail freezing of assets, ban on his travel and an arms embargo.

India has said it will continue to have consistent dialogue with China on this matter and ensure that Azhar be listed soon.

The ‘technical hold’ is valid for a period of six months post which it can be expanded for three more months.

Also read: China sends fighters for Pakistan Day parade, days after thwarting Masood Azhar terror tag


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