Written by Yoshita Singh
China has blocked a proposal by the US and India at the United Nations to blacklist top Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Sajid Mir, one of India’s most wanted terrorists and the main handler of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in the third such move by Beijing within four months.
It is learnt that Beijing put a hold on Thursday on the proposal moved by the US and co-designated by India to blacklist Mir under the 1267 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council as a global terrorist and subject him to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
Mir is one of India’s most wanted terrorists and has a bounty of $5 million placed on his head by the US for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks carried out by Pakistan-based LeT terrorists.
In June this year, he was jailed for over 15 years in a terror-financing case by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan, which is struggling to exit the grey list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Pakistani authorities had in the past claimed Mir had died, but Western countries remained unconvinced and demanded proof of his death. This issue became a major sticking point in FATF’s assessment of Pakistan’s progress on the action plan late last year.
Mir is a senior member of the Pakistan-based LeT and is wanted for his involvement in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. “Mir was LeT’s operations manager for the attacks, playing a leading role in their planning, preparation and execution,” the US State Department has said.
Last month, China had put a hold on a proposal by the US and India at the United Nations to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar, the brother of Jaish-e Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and a senior leader of the Pakistan-based terror organisation. Abdul Rauf Azhar, born in 1974 in Pakistan, was sanctioned by the US in December 2010.
Beijing, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, has repeatedly put holds on listings to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists under the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council.
In June this year, China had put a hold, at the last moment, on a joint proposal by India and the US to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
Makki is a US-designated terrorist and brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba head and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed. New Delhi and Washington had put a joint proposal to designate Makki as a global terrorist under the 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council but Beijing placed a hold on this proposal at the last minute.
The US State Department had said that Mir has been a senior member of LeT since approximately 2001. From 2006 to 2011, Mir was in charge of LeT’s external operations and planned and directed various terrorist attacks on behalf of the group. Additionally, Mir allegedly conspired to commit a terrorist attack against a newspaper and its employees in Denmark between 2008 and 2009.
For his role in the Mumbai attacks, Mir was indicted in the United States in April 2011.
In August 2012, the US Department of the Treasury designated Mir as a specially designated global terrorist. As a result of this designation, among other consequences, all property and interests in the property of Mir that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Mir.
“Mir is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List. He is believed to reside in Pakistan,” according to information on the State Department website.