India disappointed over China blocking UN move to designate JeM chief Masood Azahar
Washington: India today slammed China for blocking its bid at the UN for a ban on militant group Jaish-e-Mohammud chief Masood Azhar, saying ‘it is disappointed that a technical hold has been put on its application to designate the Pakistan-based terrorist who mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack’.
“We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in UN Security Council Committee established under UNSCR 1267/1989/2253 as far back as 2001 for its well known terror activities and links to the al-Qaida, the designation of the group's main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold. The recent terror attack in Pathankot on January 2 has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar. Given the global networking of terrorist groups, this has implications for the entire international community," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup warned in a statement, without mentioning that Beijing played a key role in thwarting India's application.
China once again had requested the UN Committee, which is considering a ban on the JeM chief, to keep on hold the designation. After the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 2, India in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
The submission was armed with strong evidence of the outfit's terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel. India also told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar would expose it and other countries in South Asia to threats from the terror group and its leader.
"It needs no emphasis that the UNSC Resolution 1267 regime is an important building block of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy that should aim to protect all member states and their citizens from the activities of terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Azhar," the MEA spokesperson said in a statement.
"Its working methods, based on the principles of unanimity and anonymity, is leading the Committee to adopt a selective approach to combating terrorism. This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism," he added.
China is one of the 5 permanent members of the UN group with veto powers. According to reports, its move was made in consultation with its key ally Pakistan, which is not on the UN Committee.
Meanwhile, China defended its decision to once again block India's bid at the UN to ban JeM saying that it ‘acts on such issues based on facts and rules in an objective and just manner’.
Stating that China is opposed to all forms of terrorism, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Beijing supports ‘UN playing a central and coordinating role in international cooperation against terrorism and it also taken active part in international counter terrorism cooperation’.
"We always deal with the listing issue (banning militant groups and their leaders) under the UN Security Council committee established under resolution 1267 based on facts and relevant rules of procedures in an objective and just manner," he said, adding that "the Chinese side has always been in communication with relevant parties on the listing issue."
This is not the first time China has blocked India's bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN. The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India's efforts for a ban on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China. Last July, China had similarly halted India's move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-RehmanLakhvi, saying that its stand was ‘based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness’ with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.