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China again prevents UN from acting on Pak-based terror chief

Pakistan-based terror chief Masood Azhar who most recently masterminded the Jan 2 cross-border strike on the Indian air force base at Pathankot in the state of Punjab. (Photo courtesy: t7channel.com)
Pakistan-based terror chief Masood Azhar who most recently masterminded the Jan 2 cross-border strike on the Indian air force base at Pathankot in the state of Punjab. (Photo courtesy: t7channel.com)

(TibetanReview.net, Feb10, 2017) – China has again come to the aid of Pakistan by preventing on Feb 7 the United Nations Security Council from imposing sanctions on the leader of a terrorist group based in the country. China is the only country among the 15-member 1267 counter terrorism committee of the UN Security Council which has previously objected to repeated Indian application to list Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorists. Azhar was most recently accused of masterminding the terror attack on the Indian air force base at Pathankot in Jan 2016.

This time the motion was moved by the USA. The US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist at the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, but China once again opposed it. 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, reported timesofindia.indiatimes.com Feb 7.

China, however, again moved to put the proposal on hold. The Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

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

Following the attack on the air force base at Pathankot in Feb 2016, India wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. However, it faced stiff opposition from China, which twice put a “technical hold” on the move before finally blocking the Indian proposal in Dec 2016.

India has reacted with anger against the Chinese actions, although the latter remained unmoved, saying New Delhi and Islamabad should settle the matter between themselves. China insisted it had adopted a “just, objective and professional” approach in deciding its stand on the issue.

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