Days after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Beijing Tuesday said that the contentious issue of designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN will be “properly resolved”. However, it did not give any timeline on the issue.
“I can only say that I believe that this will be properly resolved,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing, PTI reported. He was responding to queries on the media reports that China has purportedly consented to lift its technical hold on a fresh proposal moved by France, the UK and the US to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
Last month, China had placed a technical hold on a fresh proposal to impose a ban on the head of Pakistan-based JeM which claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama terror attack. It was for the fourth time, China blocked Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist by the UN.
According to reports, the US, the UK and France this time have stepped up pressure on Beijing by taking the issue directly to the powerful UN Security Council (UNSC).
Beijing’s opposition to the issue be taken to the apex UN body stems from the fact that it would have to publically explain its stand on its reservations to list Azhar, whose group JeM has already been designated as terror outfit by UN, before exercising its veto power as a permanent member of the UNSC.
China has accused the US of scuttling progress to resolve the issue by taking it to the UNSC and insisted that it should be resolved at the 1267 Committee whose proceedings are not publicised.
“Regarding the listing issue in the 1267 Committee, we have expressed our position many times and I just want to stress two points,” Geng said answering a number of questions on Azhar’s issue. “First, we support the listing issue being settled within the 1267 committee through dialogue and consultation and I believe this is the consensus of most members. Second, the relevant consultations are going on within the committee and has achieved some progress. Third, I believe, with the joint efforts of all parties, this issue can be properly resolved,” he said.
On reports that China would lift its technical hold on May 1, he said, “on the listing issue, China is still working with the relevant parties and we are in contact with all relevant parties within the 1267 Committee and I believe with the joint efforts of all parties, this will be properly resolved.”
With PTI inputs