Friday, 18 October, 2019


China blocks proposal to brand Masood Azhar as global terrorist

France freezes assets of JeM chief Masood Azhar China blocks proposal to brand Masood Azhar as global terrorist
Bennie Garza | 14 March, 2019, 08:17

China has said that "responsible and serious discussions" are needed ahead of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)'s sanctions committee meet this week, which is due to take up the case of designating Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

This is the fourth time that China has put a hold on a proposal to list Masood Azhar with the 1267 Sanctions Committee as a designated global terrorist since 2010.

"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", added the statement.

All eyes are on China, which has in the past blocked India's bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist. Also, India's growing proximity to the United States, sheltering Dalai Lama, and Pakistan's role in China's One Belt One Road strategy are said to be the reasons for China's protecting Pakistan's interests.

The comment piece advised New Delhi to resort to quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to pressurize Beijing, the Azhar issue could have been better addressed.

In 2017 too, India indirectly identified China as the UNSC member responsible for blocking the consensus on listing Azhar. However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

The request was moved by Britain, France and the United States, while Germany also joined as co-sponsor of the move on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo emphasised the need for an immediate action against terrorists at a meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in Washington on Monday, the State Department said. 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 proposal was the fourth such bid at the United Nations over the last decade to designate Azhar a global terrorist.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi said in a statement that Pompeo expressed his "understanding" of India's concerns regarding cross-border terrorism.

According to the State Department, Pompeo reiterated that the USA would stand with the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism.

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.

On being asked at a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang said that China has engaged in mediation efforts on both sides and helped talks to promote easing of tensions. Pakistan responded a day later with fighter jets crossing into India-administered Kashmir.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also recently denied in a television interview that JeM had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

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