External Affairs

China Opposes US Proposal on Masood Azhar, India Bring It Up With Beijing

File photo of Maulana Masood Azhar in Islamabad, August 26, 2001. Credit: Reuters

File photo of Masood Azhar in Islamabad, August 26, 2001. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi/Beijing: With China opposing the US’s proposal at the UN for designating Pathankot attack mastermind and Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, India today said it has taken up the matter with Beijing.

“We have been informed of this development and the matter has been taken up with the Chinese government,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

He was asked about India’s reaction to US pushing for a ban on Azhar in the UN and China blocking it yet again.

However, he did not elaborate when and where the issue was taken up with China.

According to senior government sources, the US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal at the UN’s Sanctions Committee 1267 in the second half of last month to proscribe Azhar.

The proposal, which was finalised after “consultations” between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said.

“However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal,” a source said, adding that the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the ten-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

The US proposal came barely weeks after India’s efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in last December.

The “hold” remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a “block”, thereby, ending the life of the proposal.