Victory for India – JeM chief Masood Azhar designated ‘global terrorist’ by UN

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Jaish E Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

File photo of Jaish E Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee.

“Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support,” India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.

When asked whether China has lifted the hold, Akbaruddin told PTI that “yes, done.”

China removed its hold on the proposal, which was moved by France, UK and the US in the Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February just days after the horrific terror attack against Indians security forces in Pulwama carried out by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish. PTI

The Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee met in New York on Wednesday and the issue of Azhar’s listing was considered.

Beijing had said on Tuesday that the vexed issue of designating Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN will be “properly resolved.

China had put a hold in March on a fresh proposal by the US, UK and France to impose a ban on the chief of the JeM which claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama terror attack. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

In 2009, India had 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 airbase 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 Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

“I can only say that I believe that this will be properly resolved,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

He was responding to questions on the media reports that China has reportedly consented to lift its technical hold on a fresh proposal moved by France, the UK and the US to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

Keeping up the international pressure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the US, supported by France and the UK, moved a draft resolution directly in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror organisation’s head.

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

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, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related material of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The efforts to resolve Azhar’s listing issue gathered momentum last week with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing to attend China’s 2nd Belt and Road Forum held from April 25-27.

During the visit, Khan held talks with Xi, besides meeting Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan during which India-Pakistan tension following the Pulwama terror attack as well as a listing of Azhar reportedly figured.

(With inputs from PTI)