The listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations is a “victory for American diplomacy and the international community against terrorism”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday. Taking to Twitter, he said, “This long-awaited action is a victory for American diplomacy and the international community against terrorism, and an important step towards peace in South Asia.”
Pompeo’s remarks came a day after China lifted its technical hold on the listing under the UN Security Council resolution 1267 sanctions committee. China, which had signed off on the UNSC’s “condemnation statement” on the Pulwama terror attack in February that was claimed by the JeM, yielded after two-and-half months of sustained behind-the-scenes negotiations involving India, US, UK and France.
“Congrats to our team @USUN for their work in negotiating JEM’s Masood Azhar’s #UN designation as a terrorist,” Pompeo said.
Congrats to our team @USUN for their work in negotiating JEM’s Masood Azhar’s #UN designation as a terrorist. This long-awaited action is a victory for American diplomacy and the international community against terrorism, and an important step towards peace in South Asia.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 2, 2019
Speaking on similar lines, a White House official said the move to blacklist the JeM chief demonstrated the international commitment to root out terrorism in Pakistan and ensure stability in South Asia. Garrett Marquis, spokesperson of the National Security Council, White House said in a statement: “Designating Azhar demonstrates international commitment to rooting out terrorism in Pakistan and bringing security and stability to south Asia”.
The US commends the United Nations Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee for the designation of Azhar, the leader of JeM, a UN-designated terrorist group that was responsible for the February 14 terrorist attack in Kashmir that killed over 40 Indian security personnel, Marquis added.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the terror group, which has been responsible for several attacks, is a serious threat to regional stability and peace in South Asia.
“The JeM was designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) in 2001 and has been listed by the UN since 2001,” she said.
“As JEM’s founder and leader, Azhar clearly met the criteria for designation by the UN. This listing requires all the UN member states to implement an asset freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo against Azhar. We expect all countries to uphold these obligations,” she added.
Ortagus also referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “commitment” to eradicate terrorism and said, “”In line with this vision, we appreciate Pakistani Prime Minister Khan’s stated commitment that Pakistan, for the sake of its own future, will not allow militant and terrorist groups to operate from its territory.”
The spokesperson said that the US looks forward to further and sustained actions from Pakistan as outlined in its National Action Plan consistent with its international obligations.
(With PTI inputs)
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