China vetoes India’s bid against Masood Azhar at UNSC

Cheryl Sanders
March 14, 2019

As US, UK and France attempt to have JeM's leader Masood Azhar listed by UNSC as a global terrorist, China has hinted that it may block the move once again.

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.

All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India's bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice.

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.

India has been reaching out to world leaders to blacklist Azhar ever since the JeM claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama terror attack, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead last month. But China, which has vetoed similar moves in the past, reminded the UNSC on Monday that "a responsible solution" can come only through discussions.

In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar.

Confirming the development, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, "1267 Sanctions Committee, upon completion of the no-objection period on 13 March 2019, was not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold".

"We are grateful to all countries who supported the bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist", it said.

Where the USA will play the definitive role in shaping the actions of China but it's the New Delhi which has approached Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey all of them is a close aide of Pakistan. The unwavering Chinese stand in Pakistan's favour comes in the backdrop of U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs David Hale and India's foreign secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale holding foreign office consultations on Tuesday.

The UNSC had moved the resolution just days after the Pulwama terrorist attack in which India blamed the JeM chief of masterminding the attack.

In response to a question on China's stance on banning Azhar at the 1267 committee of the UNSC, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing wanted a closure of the issue, based on consensus achieved through dialogue.

"China adopted a responsible attitude, followed the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner". In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016. It would have also bolstered India's assertion that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism in the South Asian region.

"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".

The JeM, he said, has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.

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