Hours before United Nations listing, China hints it may block Azhar ban again

14 March, 2019, 06:45 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Demonstrators gathering in front of the British Council & UNICEF West Bengal Office demanding U.N. action against Pakistan and the perpetrators of the Pulwama terrorist attack on Feb. 19 2019

The proposal to designate Masood Azhar under the UNSC 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee was moved by France, UK and the U.S. on February 27.

Except for China, which wields veto power in the Security Council, all other UNSC members were on board with the move before the al-Qaida (1267) Sanctions Committee. The no-objection period deadline ends 3 pm Wednesday (12:30am IST).

China has single-handedly been blocking Azhar's listing as a global terrorist at the UNSC committee for a decade now. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

It further stated how China's non-cooperation has prevented any action by the global community to enlist the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

India said it was "disappointed by this outcome" but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians. China has blocked the move by India and others states three times in the past. "China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do", another security council diplomat was quoted as saying by PTI.

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, three permanent members of Security Council - the US, France and the United Kingdom - had moved a resolution to designate Azhar a glocal terrorist. "China's position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang when asked about China's stand on the issue.

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China on Wednesday again blocked an attempt to brand Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In 2017, Beijing also blocked a move by the U.S., the United Kingdom and France to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys have preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to member countries of the UNSC. Foreign secretary, Vijay Gokhale met with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo in Washington and discussed the issue.

"The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India", he wrote.

"They agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and to deny safe haven to all terrorist groups in its territory".

China also added that it would play its responsible role in collaboration with all the concerned parties. "Pakistan wishes peace and stability in the region", he said, pointing out that last week, Islamabad sent its envoy back to New Delhi and was sending an official delegation to India this week to discuss the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor.

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