The sanctions regime on “Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities” was established by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 on October 15, 1999. Because the 1267 committee officially takes decisions by consensus, the five permanent members can exercise their veto by placing a proposal on “technical hold” — which delays the case for three months before it can come back before the committee.
China has put the Indian request to question Pakistan on the release of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi on “technical hold”. It has argued that India has not provided “sufficient information” in support of its case.
Lakhvi was released from Adiala prison on April 10, after Lahore High Court dismissed his detainment order. On May 3, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Asoke Mukerji, wrote to the chairman of the 1267 committee, seeking an investigation into who had paid, or stood guarantee for, Lakhvi’s bail, as he is on the sanctions list and has no access to funds. The issue remained pending with the committee for a while, allegedly at the behest of the Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN.
Amid the global outrage over the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, China had backed the Indian move to designate Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed and Lakhvi as terrorists. This was a shift from China’s earlier line, blocking India’s attempts to get Jamaat-ud-Dawa added to the UNSCR 1267 terror list on three earlier occasions. China had also used the “failed to provide sufficient information” excuse to block UNSC sanctions against LeT and al-Akhtar Trust, a front for Jaish-e-Mohammad.
But even in 2008, China had stalled the US proposal to designate four serving/retired ISI officials, including its former head, Lt Gen Hamid Gul, terrorists under UNSCR 1267. In 2010, again, China placed on “technical hold” India’s request to name Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish and Abdur Rehman Makki and Azam Cheema of Lashkar on the 1267 sanctions list. Earlier this year, China stalled India’s bid to get Hizbul Mujahideen’s Syed Salahuddin added to the list.
China’s move this week is its first after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to that country in May, when the two countries issued a joint statement committing to fighting terror, and urging “all countries and entities to work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists”.