Washington, March 14
Responsible member-states of the Security Council may be forced to take “other actions” if China continues to block moves to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, diplomats at the UN’s principal organ have warned.
The senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the frustration of other members of the Security Council after China on Wednesday put a technical hold on the proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. China has blocked four bids in 10 years to get Azhar, a blue-eyed boy of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, listed as UN-designated global terrorist.
Azhar masterminded many audacious attacks on India, including the 2001 Parliament strike and the recent Pulwama carnage in February. The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a JeM suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF soldiers in J&K’s Pulwama.
“If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that,” a Security Council diplomat said in an unusual tough warning to China, a close ally of Pakistan.
India has expressed disappointment over China’s decision but said it would “pursue all available avenues” to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attacks on Indians.
“This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on this listing. China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do,” another Security Council diplomat said.
“China’s move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combating terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia,” said the diplomat, requesting not to be named as the deliberations of the 1267 Al Qaeda UN Sanctions Committee are confidential, thus preventing member-countries from talking about it in public.
“The case for designating Azhar — the leader of a group the UN already calls an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organisation — is undeniable,” the diplomat said. — PTI
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