Dismissing charge that the Islamabad-Riyadh joint statement on UN designations was against India’s efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on Wednesday said any terrorist or anyone who supports and finances terrorism must be proscribed by the United Nations.
“Any person who is a terrorist should be designated. The idea was to ensure that there is no politicisation so that people do not pit somebody who is a political opponent and put his name as a terrorist,” Al-Jubeir was quoted as saying by PTI. His statement comes days after Saudi Arabia signed off on a joint statement with Pakistan where they said there was a need to avoid “politicisation of the UN listing regime”.
Pak-based Jaish has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Pulwama, the single bloodiest attack in Kashmir in the last three decades of militancy, in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. The joint statement, a day before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman landed in India for a bilateral visit, put a stamp of approval on Pakistan’s narrative that India is trying to politicise the UN listing process.
The issue of Azhar’s listing and how China has been blocking Delhi’s efforts to designate Azhar as a global terrorist — at Pakistan’s behest — is a key issue the Indian Foreign Secretary has been highlighting in his meetings with envoys from G-20 countries, including Saudi Arabia. READ | How China keeps blocking India from listing Azhar a ‘global terrorist’
“I think people here assumed that the joint statement had to do with one particular individual (Azhar). It did not. The intention was that the process of designation is clear and not political,” he told the news agency.
The Saudi Finance Minister also emphasised that it was important that those who carried out the Pulwama terrorist act must be held accountable and brought to justice.
Commenting on the heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the Saudi Finance Minister said Riyadh hopes New Delhi and Islamabad can de-escalate and resolve the issues peacefully. “We will not involve ourselves into tensions between India and Pakistan without being invited by both the countries,” he said.
“Nobody wants to see armed conflict between two nuclear powers, nobody benefits except terrorists,” he added.
With PTI inputs