China blocks proposal to brand Masood Azhar as global terrorist

JeM chief Masood Azhar

JeM chief Masood Azhar

It was under the no-objection period and Committee members had a period of 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.

As China again blocked a United Nations resolution to designate JeM chief a global terrorist, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on March 14 hit out at Prime Minster Narendra Modi, saying he was weak and scared of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

All eyes are on China, which has in the past blocked India's bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist.

It is the third time China has vetoed such an effort by world powers, which underlines China's strong commitment to side with Pakistan in a time when India is using every global forum against Pakistan.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. If accepted, the sanctions will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

Reportedly, China in its note to Security Council said it needed more time to examine the sanctions request targeting Masood Azhar.

The blocking of the resolution, jointly presented by the United States, United Kingdom and France, seems to have greatly disappointed New Delhi. The JeM, headed by the 50-year-old Azhar, carried out many terror strikes in India and was involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot air force base, army camps in Jammu and Uri.

Pressuring Pakistan to deliver on its counter-terrorism commitments and the move to designate Azhar a global terrorist figured in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale's meeting with USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

On the issue of listing Azhar, he said, "I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue".

China has put on hold a request by Britain, France and the United States to add the leader of a Pakistan-based armed group behind a suicide attack in Kashmir to the UN terror blacklist. "They also agreed that those who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable", the MEA said.

According to the State Department, Pompeo reiterated that the USA would stand with the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism.

Except for China, which wields veto power in the Security Council, all other UNSC members were on board with the move before the al-Qaida (1267) Sanctions Committee.

On being asked at a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang said that China has engaged in mediation efforts on both sides and helped talks to promote easing of tensions.

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