In a setback for India, China once again placed a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar late Wednesday. This is the fourth time China has blocked India’s bid to designate Azhar as a global terrorist in the UNSC.
The Ministry of External Affairs expressed its disappointment at the development. In a statement, the ministry said, “We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in J&K on Feb 14.”
“We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors,” it added.
The ministry further said they will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders involved in attacks on India are brought to justice.
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.
Earlier on Wednesday, China hinted that it may again block the move, stating that “the solution that is acceptable to all sides” is conducive to resolve the issue. On Tuesday, New Delhi intensified its diplomatic engagement in New York, Washington and Beijing among other world capitals. The P-3 countries — US, UK and France — had co-sponsored the proposal to list Azhar on UNSC. Germany too had joined the chorus on Wednesday.
UNSC listing of Azhar would have meant a ban on his travel and his assets would be imposed, rendering his operation difficult. It would have also bolstered India’s assertion that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism in the South Asian region.
The deadline to “seek clarification” — the UN jargon for “raising objection” — was 3 pm New York time Wednesday, which is 12.30 am IST on Thursday. Azhar would have got listed automatically had China not placed any objection by the listed time.
Over the last 10 years, China has single-handedly blocked Azhar’s listing as a “global terrorist” at the UNSC committee. India had started pushing for Azhar’s listing since 2008-09, after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and even then China had put a technical hold.