India on Monday got France on board to “list” Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, which could lead to a freeze on the terror outfit’s assets, among others.
Indian officials were able to secure France’s approval for UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267, which deals with listing of individuals accused of terrorist activities, sources told The Indian Express.
Listing individuals or terror groups lead to a freeze on their assets, travel ban and arms embargo, and must be applied by all member-countries. It is widely considered to be an effective tool to fight terrorists and terror groups.
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The JeM chief has been accused of planning and perpetrating the recent attack at the Pathankot airbase, and Monday’s move is seen as a major takeaway from French President Francois Hollande’s visit.
India had earlier moved the committee on UNSCR 1267 for the listing of Masood Azhar, but it was blocked by China. France is a permanent UNSC member and can play a role in the committee which deals with the listing process.
The joint statement on counter-terrorism, signed by New Delhi and Paris, on Monday, said, “Both leaders urged the international community to make concerted efforts to strictly comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions 1267, 1988, 1989, 2253 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorists and terrorist groups or condemning terrorist acts.”
Having faced terror attacks in January and November 2015, France is resolved to fight terrorism with a renewed vigour.
The two resolved to increase cooperation on UN terrorist designations and work towards increasing effectiveness of the UNSCR 2253 sanctions regime. They also resolved to work together to drive forward international efforts in forums like the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter Terrorism Forum.
While Pathankot and Paris attacks determined their joint response, the two countries also recognised the urgent need to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing channels, eliminate terrorist safe havens, training infrastructure and cross-border movement of terrorists. Besides JeM, the joint statement names terror outfits Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network and other terror groups such as Al Qaeda, as well as the IS.