Updated: November 3, 2017 8:34:00 am
China on Thursday “blocked consensus” on listing Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar as an internationally designated terrorist, a move that India has said was deeply disappointing, “short-sighted” and “counter-productive”. The blocking by China comes barely two months after Beijing agreed to name the outfit a terrorist groups at the BRICS declaration. The elusive consensus, under the UN Security Council resolution 1267 committee, was blocked for the fourth time by China since last year.
The move would have led to an assets freeze and a travel ban for Azhar.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of a UN-designated terrorist organisation, Masood Azhar. India strongly believes that double standards and selective approaches will only undermine the international community’s resolve to combat terrorism. We can only hope that there will be a realisation that accommodating with terrorism for narrow objectives is both short-sighted and counter-productive.”
In Xiamen in September, China had signed off on the BRICS declaration to name Jaish and Lashkar-e-Toiba as terrorist outfits, which was welcomed by New Delhi then.
The latest move by China comes about 10 days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the ASEAN summit in Manila, the Philippines, on November 13 and 14. The Chinese block also comes just days after the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party met and gave a five-year mandate to President Xi Jinping.
South Block sources told The Indian Express that while this may be raised by Modi during his meeting with Li on the margins of the ASEAN summit in Manila, their first encounter is expected on November 12 at the gala dinner for the leaders’ hosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and they are not too hopeful about any change in the Chinese position.
Sources said that the issue of Masood Azhar, however, will be definitely discussed in December, when Indian and US officials meet for their first dialogue on terrorist designations. “We will discuss the strategy to move forward on this issue during our meeting with the American officials, as was agreed during Tillerson’s visit,” a source said.
Beijing’s position became clear as sources in the Chinese Foreign ministry told PTI in Beijing, “China has rejected the move as there is no consensus.”
Azhar is accused of masterminding the Pathankot terror attack, which is seen in Delhi as the incident which killed the revived dialogue process, days after Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015.
China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the UN.
China’s three-month technical hold on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist was set to lapse on Thursday.
Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing: “We raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter.”
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