(TibetanReview.net, Aug04, 2017) – China has again blocked the United Nations Security Council from designating Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’. Its previous six-month technical hold was to expire on Aug 2. Hence, had China not acted on Aug 2, Azhar would have automatically been designated under the UN as a terrorist.
China moved to extend the technical hold by another three months just before the Aug 2 deadline on a proposal introduced in Feb 2017 by the US, the UK and France was to come up for review.
Despite strong lobbying by India, China has repeatedly blocked the UN move to put a ban on the JeM leader under the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council which takes decisions by consensus. He is wanted by India in connection with the cross-border terrorist attack on an Indian air force base at Pathankot in Punjab in February last year.
When India first moved the application through a proposal introduced by the US in Mar 2016, China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a technical hold on it while all the other 14 members supported the move to place Azhar on what is called the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. It would also force Pakistan to act against him.
And when the six-month validity of that technical hold ended in September, Beijing extended it by three more months, after which China blocked it altogether in Dec 2016. India then made it clear that it will continue to pursue issues of terrorism “through all available mechanisms”.
The latest Chinese move came after Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Jul 31 that Islamabad was “indebted” to its all-weather ally China for its “unflinching support” on the Kashmir issue, the expansion of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Describing China and Pakistan as “important strategic players in the region,” General Bajwa, who was the chief guest at a reception in Rawalpindi on Jul 31 hosted by the Chinese Embassy, said their bilateral ties have jointly benefited both countries, reported the PTI news agency Aug 2.
China had refused to make its intention clear before taking the current action. Its Foreign Ministry only said “the Chinese side will make the decision in due course,” said PTI in another report Aug 2.