China once again refused to block India’s appeal to list Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), a day after a deadly attack by the Pakistan-based terror outfit killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
VIDEO | Modi says terrorists will pay for Pulwama attack, Oppn backs govt
The JeM has claimed responsibility of the attack in which a suicide bomber rammed his Scorpio SUV laden with explosives into a CRPF bus in south Kashmir where a convoy of 78 vehicles, carrying over 2,500 jawans were moving to Kashmir from Jammu. Pulwama Terror Attack LIVE updates
“China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families,” spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang told a media briefing. “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism. We hope relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” PTI quoted him as saying.
When asked about China’s stand on the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, he said: “As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations”. “JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner,” he said in an apparent reference to External Affairs Ministry’s appeal to all members of the UN Security Council to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
Azhar was released by the A B Vajpayee government in December 1999, along with Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Omar Sheikh, in exchange for the release of the passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814.
Delhi’s attempts to list him at the UNSC have been repeatedly blocked by China.
The most recent effort began after India blamed Jaish for the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on January 2, 2016. India put forward a proposal in February 2016 to designate Azhar as a terrorist under the aegis of the UNSC 1267 committee. China intervened at Pakistan’s behest and placed a technical hold on India’s move in March 2016, and again in October 2016. It subsequently used its veto power to block the proposal in December 2016, a day before the technical hold ended.