World

China Again Blocks Move to List Masood Azhar as Global Terrorist

Without referring specifically to China, India on Thursday called it a disappointing, “short-sighted and counter-productive” move.

Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan's militant Jaish-e-Mohammad party. Credit: Reuters

Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan’s militant Jaish-e-Mohammad party. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: India on Thursday termed China’s block on the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar with a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions panel as “short sighted and counter-productive”.

China’s technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar, alleged mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack, lapsed on November 2. Following that, China vetoed the application submitted by UK, France, and US to the ‘1267 committee’ of the UNSC.

In order to implement resolution 1267, UNSC set up a committee to to impose sanctions on anyone dealing with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. With two more resolutions in 2011 and 2015, the security council split the committee into two to deal with Al-Qaeda and Taliban sanctions separately and expand the listing criteria to include the so-called Islamic State.

“We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of UN-designated terrorist organization, Masood Azhar,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

The Indian statement did not identify China, a close ally of Pakistan, as the “single country”.

“India strongly believes that double standards and selective approaches will only undermine the international community’s resolve to combat terrorism. We can only hope that there will be a realization that accommodating with terrorism for narrow objectives is both short sighted and counter-productive,” said Kumar.

This is the second year in running that China has blocked the move to get Azhar listed with the UNSC committee.

China delays

Earlier in the day, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that the technical hold had been made by China “so that more time was given to the Committee for deliberations and to all relevant parties for further consultations”.

She claimed that Chinese action was dictated by intention “to uphold the authority and validity of the Committee”. “China would remain in communication and coordination with all relevant parties in line with the resolutions of the Security Council and the rules of procedure of the 1267 Committee,” she added.

When asked if she meant that China has blocked the proposals, she demurred by stating that there was no consensus. “The Committee has its own rules of procedure. As I said, there are differences over this issue in the Committee and it has yet to reach a consensus,” she asserted.

China’s block takes place less than a month after the Xiamen BRICS declaration had specifically named Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

We, in this regard, express concern on the security situation in the region and violence caused by the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, Al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir [BRICS 2017]

The Indian government had hailed the listing as a diplomatic victory, claiming that it would help to assist listing of the named groups under UNSC.

“For the first time you would notice, there has been such specific listing of such terror organisations and the fact that BRICS countries should work together in facilitating listing of these under UNSC,” said MEA secretary (East) Preeti Saran in Xiamen on Sep 4.

That was, however, not the first time that the LeT and JeM have been named as terror groups in a multilateral document endorsed by China.

The Amritsar Declaration at the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia expressed concern over the “the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL/DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters”.

Two months after the Amritsar Declaration, China had again put a hold on Masood Azhar’s listing in UNSC in February. This was again extended by three months in August.