UN hidden veto power used to sanction terror: India

RSTV Bureau
File Photo: JeM Chief Masood Azhar. Last week China blocked India's bid to get Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist on a technical ground.

File Photo: JeM Chief Masood Azhar. Last week China blocked India’s bid to get Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist on a technical ground.

India has slammed China’s use of “hidden veto” and demanded accountability, saying the world body’s general members are never informed of the reason for not acceding to requests for sanctioning terrorists. This comes days after China blocked India’s bid at the UN to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar.

“The procedures of unanimity and anonymity of the Al Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS Sanctions Committees need to be revisited. The procedures of unanimity and anonymity result in a lack of accountability,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told the UN Security Council in an open debate on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts’ on Thursday.

Akbaruddin said each of the 15 members in the committee now have a veto.Without naming China, he said none except these 15 members are told of who is it that has wielded the veto in a specific instance.

He said the sanctions committees need to foster tangible support for greater responsiveness to member states’ requests for preventive listings to counter terror.

“They also need to follow up complaints against violations by listed individuals and entities more vigorously,” he said.

Akbaruddin’s remarks come against the backdrop of China once again blocking a bid by India to ban Azhar following January’s terror attack on Pathankot airbase.

After the attack at the airbase in Pathankot, India had in February approached the UN calling for immediate action to list the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e- Mohammad (JeM) under the UN Sanctions Committee.

The Indian 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 had said.

China, though, requested the UN committee to keep on hold the designation at the last moment, claiming that the case “did not meet Security Council’s requirements”

When asked as to why China had put a hold on the listing request by India against Azhar, Chinese envoy and President of the Security Council for the month Liu Jieyi had said that any listing would have to meet the requirements, stressing that it was the Council members’ responsibility to ensure that the criteria were followed.

This is not the first time China has has blocked Indian resolutions. In June 2015, Beijing was responsible for blocking an Indian resolution to question Pakistan after the release of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi who was also accused of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which more than 160 people were killed.

(With inputs from agencies)