China defends Azhar decison, says consensus not reached

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Jaish E Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. India blames Azhar for Parliament attack.

File photo of Jaish E Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

A day after India raised the issue of China blocking US’ proposal in the UN for designating Pathankot attack mastermind and JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, China has defended its decision.

China said that there was a lack of consensus on the issue within the “relevant parties.”

This was the third time that China blocked an attempt like this.

The US, supported by two other permanent members of UN Security Council -the UK and France- moved the proposal at the UN’s Sanctions Committee 1267 in the second-half of the last month to proscribe Azhar.

The proposal, which was finalised after “consultations” between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free.

It was submitted just a day before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“Last year 1,267 Committee of the UN Security Council discussed the issue regarding listing Masood (Azhar) in the sanctions list. There were different views with no consensus reached,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang in Beijing.

“As for the submission once again by relevant countries to list him in the sanctions list, I would say the conditions are not yet met for the Committee to reach a decision…China has put the request on technical hold, to allow the relevant parties more time to consult with each other. This is also in line with rules of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the rules of the discussion of the Committee,” Lu explained.

China stalled the proposal barely weeks after India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN were scuttled by Beijing in December 2016.

To a question whether it will have an impact on China-India relations, Lu said Beijing and New Delhi “have exchanged views” on the issue.

“We don’t hope it will have a negative impact on our relationship,” he added.

In the past, China has opposed several efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN, which has proscribed his outfit JeM in 2001.

After the attack on the IAF base in Pathankot in January 2016, India wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee. The efforts faced stiff opposition by China, which twice put a “technical hold” before finally blocking the Indian proposal in December.

(With inputs from agencies)