Hoping that the UN would soon designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist, a top Indian diplomat has said that New Delhi will not sit idle till the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed leader is brought to justice. India has identified Azhar as the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016. It has also blamed his brother Rauf and five others for carrying out the attack in which seven Indian soldiers were killed along with all the six terrorists.
“If I were to use a term, the matter is what we would call in judicial terms sub-judice. Currently the matter is with a UN committee. We hope that the committee will be able to fulfill its role in designating Masood Azhar who we have tried for quite some time but have not succeeded yet,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said in New York.
“However, we would like to make it very clear, we will pursue Masood Azhar so that the ends of justice are met,” he said yesterday at a news conference in response to a question on India’s effort towards terrorist designation of Azhar, which has repeatedly been blocked by China.
China in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to designate the Pathankot attack mastermind as a global terrorist by the UN. If China would not have extended the technical hold last month, Azhar would have automatically been designated under the UN as a terrorist.
A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. JeM has already been in the banned list. Last year in March, China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.
“He (Azhar) may try to delay this, but the inevitable will happen. So be certain about it. The clock is ticking for him. He will be pursued until justice is met,” Akbaruddin said. When a reporter asked what are China’s objections to British-backed proposal to list Azhar as a designated terrorist by the UN, he said, “You should ask them.”
The three-month validity of the current technical hold is expiring on November 2.