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China decides to back Pakistan, blocks to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist by UN Security Council

The US says Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist by the UN. State Department Deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said China’s Opposition to the move counters a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace. Palladino’s remarks came on the eve of a crucial decision by the UNSC on listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Talking to reporters at his daily news conference in Washington, he said US and India work closely together on counter terrorism efforts, and that includes at the United Nations. He noted that their views on the JeM and its founder are well known.
The fate of the proposal to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist will be known in less than 24 hours when the deadline to raise objections to the bid expires. The proposal under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, UK and the US on 27th of February after JeM claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

The proposal was under the no-objection period and Committee members had a period of 10 working days to raise any objections. The no-objection period deadline ends today. The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. All eyes are on China, which has in the past blocked India’s bids to get Masood Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist.

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, meaning that Azhar will become a UN-designated global terrorist. A UNSC designation will subject Masood Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.
hina has placed a hold and blocked the attempt to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.

The attempt to list him has as a “global terrorist” by the UN Security Council has failed again.

China has shielded Masood Azhar for the fourth time after it blocked action on the JeM chief.

It comes as a setback to India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

A diplomat at the UN told PTI that China put a “technical hold”.

China on Wednesday (March 13) 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 killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to tensions between India and Pakistan.

INDIA EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said India was disappointed by China blocking the bid at the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

The MEA, in a statement said, “We are disappointed by this outcome. 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.”

The statement further said, “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.”

AL-QAEDA SANCTIONS COMMITTEE

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 3 pm local time (New York) Wednesday (12.30 am IST Thursday).

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.

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.

CHINA’S STAND

An inkling of China’s stand on the issue came during Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s press conferences on Monday (March 11) and Wednesday (March 13) 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.

JEM CHIEF MASOOD AZHAR: CHINA AND INDIA

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.

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.

OFFENSIVE AGAINST PAKISTAN

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.

 

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