External Affairs

India Slams China’s Use of ‘Hidden Veto’ in Sanctioning Terrorists

Maulana Masood Azhar, head of militant party Jaish-e-Mohammad and mastermind of the January Pathankot base attack. Credit: Reuters

Maulana Masood Azhar, head of militant party Jaish-e-Mohammad and mastermind of the January Pathankot base attack. Credit: Reuters

United Nations: Days after China blocked its bid at the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, India on Friday, April 15 slammed the use of the “hidden veto” and demanded accountability, saying the world body’s general members were never informed of the reason for not acceding to requests for sanctioning terrorists.

“The procedures of the Sanctions Committees dealing with al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS need to be revisited. The unanimity and anonymity of the procedures result in a lack of accountability,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told the UN Security Council in an open debate on ‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts’.

Akbaruddin said each of the 15 members in the committee now had a veto. Without naming China, he said no one but the 15 members were told of who had wielded the veto in a specific instance.

“The general membership of the UN is never formally informed of how and why requests for listing terrorists are not acceded to. Counter-terror mechanisms such as the Sanctions Committees that act on behalf of the international community need to build trust, not engender impunity by the use of this form of a hidden veto,” Akbaruddin said.

After the attack by the JeM on the Pathankot airbase on January 2, 2016, India in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

The evidence submitted was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate. The technical team then sent it to all the members, with the support of the US, UK and France, sources said.

All were told that if there were no objections, the designation would be announced after the expiry of the deadline. However, just hours before the deadline, China requested the UN committee to keep the designation on hold.

When asked at a briefing earlier this month about why China did this, Chinese envoy and president of the Security Council for the month Liu Jieyi said that any listing would have to meet the UN requirements, stressing that it was the Council members’ responsibility to ensure this happened.

(PTI)