India protests UN move to halt JeM founder’s sanction

RSTV Bureau
Symbolic Image ( PTI )

Symbolic Image ( PTI )

India has expressed strong disappointment over putting its application to include Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar in the UN sanctions list on a “technical hold”. Terming the move “incomprehensible”, the Union External Affairs ministry has alleged that UN sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism.

“This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, adding the move has implications for the entire international community.

In a big set-back to India, China once again blocked India’s bid at the UN to ban terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. China had on March 31, requested the UN Committee, which is considering a ban on the chief of the Pakistan-based JeM, to keep on hold the designation.

Soon after the dastardly terror attack on Pathankot air base, India had written to the UN demanding immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 3, 2015. Photo - PTI

Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 3, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Backing its demand, India had submitted strong evidence of the outfit’s terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel. The submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, UK and France had sent it to all the members, sources said.

All were told that if there are no objections the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline. But hours before the deadline, China requested the Committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief.

China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, has claimed that its decision is based on facts and rules.

The move has since drawn a strong disappointment from India.

“It’s working methods, based on the principles of unanimity and anonymity, is leading the Committee to adopt a selective approach to combating terrorism,” MEA spokesperson Swarup alleged.

India, he said, finds it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan based JeM was listed in the UN Security Council Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.

(With inputs from the PTI)