Thursday, 21 March, 2019

UNSC to declare Masood Azhar a Global Terrorist

Demonstrators gathering in front of the British Council & UNICEF West Bengal Office demanding U.N. action against Pakistan and the perpetrators of the Pulwama terrorist attack on Feb. 19 2019 China vetoes resolution in UNSC seeking ban on JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2019, 08:14

In 2017, China had blocked Indian attempt to place the JeM chief on the global terrorist list on grounds that New Delhi had failed to provide any substantial evidence.

India has expressed disappointment over China's decision but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

"They also agreed that those who support or abet terrorism in any form should be held accountable", the MEA said.

Without naming China, India's permanent representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin in a tweet said, "1 big state holds up, again." and added, "Grateful to the many states - big & small - who in unprecedented numbers, joined as co-sponsors of the effort". On February 15, a day after the Pulwama attack, China had refused to back India's appeal at the United Nations to designate Azhar a global terrorist. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

According to the listing rules of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted. But retreating its steps, China put a hold on the proposal just as the deadline was about to end.

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The statement did not name the Security Council member responsible for the outcome in view of the official protocols followed for the working of the Sanctions Committee, people familiar with developments confirmed that China was behind the "technical hold" on Azhar's listing. But China, which has vetoed similar moves in the past, reminded the UNSC on Monday that "a responsible solution" can come only through discussions.

China on Wednesday hinted that it may once again block the move, saying only "the solution that is acceptable to all sides" is conducive to resolve the issue. "This has prevented action by the global community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, 2019", said the MEA press note. The MEA posted a statement in response to a query on Beijing's role: "We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked worldwide consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of UN-designated terrorist organisation, Masood Azhar".

The blocking of the resolution, jointly presented by the United States, United Kingdom and France, seems to have greatly disappointed New Delhi. "If China continues to block this designation, responsible member states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council". An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

Masood Azhar is the chief of Pakistan-based United Nations listed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that took responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed more than 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

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