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US moves UN for banning JeM chief Masood Azhar, China opposes move

China is the only country among the 15-member 1267 counter terrorism committee of the UN Security Council which has objected to India’s application to list Azhar who is accused of masterminding the Pathankot terror attack.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 7, 2017 5:51:16 pm
Masood Azhar, JeM Masood Azhar, India Masood Azhar, Masood Azhar UN JeM chief Masood Azhar.

Amid opposition from China, the United States of America on Tuesday moved the United Nations for banning Pathankot terrorist attack mastermind and Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar. Meanwhile, China has blocked US’ move to ban Azhar. The American proposal came barely weeks after India’s efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in December last. In a statement to the media today, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Informed of this development and matter has been taken up with Chinese Government.” India has consistently pitched for the listing of Azhar as a global designated terrorist at the United Nations, where it has initiated discussions with several member countries of the UN Security Council on the issue. Meanwhile, China has repeatedly thwarted India’s attempts to shore up support for its stand, while dismissing India’s criticism, saying it had adopted a “just, objective and professional” attitude in deciding the issue.

China’s “hold” remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a “block”, thereby, ending the life of the proposal. UN Sanction Committee’s listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.

Last month, France too pitched for designating Azhar as a global terrorist, saying there are very strong arguments in favour of such a move. During his four-day visit to India, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault put across a veiled message to China saying “the international community’s determination to combat terrorism must be the same everywhere, regardless of the threat.”

READ: France wants JeM chief Masood Azhar to be declared as international terrorist by UN

China is the only country among the 15-member 1267 counter terrorism committee of the UN Security Council which has objected to India’s application to list Azhar who is accused of masterminding the Pathankot terror attack. Even when India pointed out that China was the only member among the 1267 committee members to have objected to the ban, China had said that ‘relevant attitude and action of China comply with the resolution of the UNSC and rules of procedure of the committee’.

After the Pathankot attack in January last year, India wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee. Its efforts faced stiff opposition by China, which twice put a “technical hold” before finally blocking the Indian proposal in December.

It justified its decision saying, “China takes a very objective  and just and professional attitude on that. Up to now the Committee is yet to come to an agreement on this issue and we would like stay in communication and coordination with all relevant parties including India on this.”

(With PTI inputs)

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