India approaches UN against JeM chief Masood Azhar

RSTV Bureau
FILE: In this Jan 22, 2000 file photo Maulana Masood Azhar arrives at the Karachi airport in Pakistan. Photo: AP/PTI

FILE: In this Jan 22, 2000 file photo Maulana Masood Azhar arrives at the Karachi airport in Pakistan.
Photo: AP/PTI

India has approached the UN to include Jaish-e-Mohammad chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council’s sanctions list strongly emphasising the urgency to take action against the terror group’s leader.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin wrote to New Zealand Ambassador Gerard Jacoubus van Bohemen, the Chair of the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, submitting India’s request that the JeM chief’s name be included in the committee’s sanctions list.

India told the UN that it was the responsibility of the committee to protect UN nations and its citizens from terror groups like the JeM and its leaders and called for immediate action to add Azhar to list under the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

Armed with strong evidence of JeM’s terror activities and its role in the January 2 Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian soldiers, India told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar has clearly demonstrated how it and other countries in South Asia continue to face threats posed by the terror group and its leader.

Listing Azhar will prove that the global community is committed to tackling the scourge of terrorism and will help protect Indian citizens and those of other countries from the terror threats posed by him and his outfit, India said.

Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry had said that it is a “great anomaly” that JeM is listed on the UN sanctions list but its leader Massod is not.

The UN had banned JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts to ban Azhar after the Mumbai terror attack did not hold good as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, didn’t allow the ban. It is alleged that China vetoed India’s move on the behest of Pakistan.

On February 18, a fresh list was submitted to the UN sanctions committee by New Delhi. The list included 11 individuals and one organisation linked to terrorism.

(With inputs from PTI)