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China blocks proposal to tag JeM chief Masood Azhar a terrorist for fourth time at UN

India said it was disappointed by China's decision, which had placed a technical hold on the proposal to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist.

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United Nations: In yet another setback to India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, China on Wednesday put a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3pm local time (New York) Wednesday, (12:30 AM IST Thursday).

Just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal, a diplomat at the UN told PTI.

The diplomat said China asked for “more time to examine” the proposal.

Also read: Beijing’s calculus on Masood Azhar goes through the China-Pakistan corridor

The external affairs ministry said it was disappointed by the outcome on account of “a member” placing the proposal on hold.

“This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019,” it said in a statement in New Delhi.

“We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors.

“We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice.”

The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members.

All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India’s bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice.

Also read: China stand on Masood Azhar risks undoing post-Doklam reconciliation with India

According to the listing rules of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted.

As it has done in the past, Beijing put a technical hold on the proposal just as the deadline was about to end.

An inkling of China’s stand on the issue came during Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s press conferences on Monday and Wednesday in Beijing when he was asked about the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC.

“The UN Security Council and its subsidiary bodies are run on strict rules. We already stressed China’s position on the listing of terrorist organisations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions,” Lu said on Monday.

“China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the deliberations in the UNSC 1267 Committee,” Lu said on Wednesday.

On the issue of listing Azhar, he said, “I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue.”

“The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue,” he said, indicating that Beijing may again block the move to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

Also read: Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammad is a potent force in Kashmir

According to sources, the statement of the case of the latest proposal by France mentioned that JeM had taken responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.

The statement also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces.

In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar. In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 — the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

Also read: Pulwama attack proves JeM chief Masood Azhar’s 2014 public address wasn’t a ‘one-time event’

An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals. Under the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories to the designated individuals and entities.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys had preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to the UNSC member countries.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including those from the five permanent UNSC members — the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France — to highlight Islamabad’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

India also handed over to Pakistan a dossier on “specific details” of involvement of the JeM in the Pulwama terror attack.

Just two days before the March 13 deadline on Azhar’s listing, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington.

The MEA had said in a statement that Pompeo expressed his “understanding” of India’s concerns regarding cross-border terrorism. – PTI

Also read: When a single slap shook Masood Azhar to blurt out key information


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  1. Nothing new, like a stuck gramophone record China keeps repeating same old tune. India must get Masood Azhar in his own den if he is still alive after the Balakot strike given confusing signals coming from pakistani state on his health.More important , how is India planning to deal with China overall including on trade? Cheap imports from China hitting our industry must be stopped forthwith. China should not be allowed to launch 5G phone services as reports suggest.Further, review is required to end Chinese ownership control in “Paytm” operations growing very fast in the digital payment and retail banking sector .

  2. As every country has its own priorities and interests to safeguard in international scenario, so does China. Pakistan is China’s trump card against India. It cannot abandon it. Moreover, China doesn’t want to antagonise Jem (Azahr), for it’s own interests. China has a substantial Muslim population in a province bordering Pakistan /Afghanistan. Azhar can create trouble for China there and it’s infrastructures in Pakistan.
    Moreover, so many such organizations are on UN’s blacklist, but all are operating freely. Most countries merely obey UN’s dictates only on paper. Every banned organization or persons by UN has the backing of one or the other county. Although we should continue our efforts internationally, our first priority should be to strengthen our own house. And remove our ambiguity in such case in our media anddomestic political arena.

  3. how do you know it was Jaish’s bomber???? what’s the proof… its again biased media coverage… shame on you warmongering people.

  4. Unclear why China is expending so much diplomatic capital on someone the whole world knows to be a terrorist.

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