China preventing India from chairing key UNSC anti-terror committee

UN Security Council (UNSC). (Photo courtesy: Deccan Herald)

(, Jan12’21) – As the two countries continue their tense faceoff across the Ladakh border with occupied Tibet for the eighth month, China has prevented India from chairing a key UN Security Council (UNSC) terrorism-related body, reported the Jan 11. The purpose is seen to be to help its superlative friend Pakistan, which is seen as a major global terror factory especially targeting India, a major country China seeks to see pinned down.

The report said that while India, as announced last week, will still head the counter-terrorism committee and also Taliban and Libya sanctions committees, China’s opposition seemed to have prevented the country from heading the all-important Al Qaida sanctions committee that has in the past sanctioned Pakistan-based international terrorists like Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed and also terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The report noted that at Pakistan’s behest, China had on several occasions in the past, blocked Azhar’s listing by the Al Qaida sanctions committee before finally removing its hold on the UN ban on the Pathankot attack mastermind. This followed the 2019 Pulwama terror attack in India and under renewed pressure from the US, France and UK.

China was against India’s chairing of the Al Qaida sanctions committee. “There was a tussle because of China’s opposition leading even to a delay in the announcement of the committees but India will chair the counter-terrorism committee next year,” the report quoted a diplomatic source from a P-5 country as saying, speaking on condition of anonymity.

China was stated to be the only UNSC member to oppose India’s chairing of the sanctions committee for Al Qaida and affiliates.

The reported noted that this meant that for the first time the Taliban sanctions committee and the Al Qaida committee will be chaired by different countries. While India will head the Taliban sanctions committee, Norway will lead the Al Qaida and affiliates sanctions committee.

The report said that the countries which have headed the Taliban sanctions committee since 2011, when the original Al Qaida and Taliban committee was split into 2, had all also chaired the Al Qaida sanctions committee simultaneously. These include Indonesia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Australia and Germany.

The report said chairing the sanctions committee for Al Qaida and affiliates would have been significant for India at a time it seeks support from the international community for holding Pakistan accountable for its support to cross-border terrorism.

This committee has the mandate to not just oversee the implementation of the sanctions measures but also to designate individuals and entities who meet the listing criteria set out in “relevant resolutions”. The committee also conducts “periodic and specialised” reviews of the entries on the sanctions list and reports annually to the Security Council on the implementation of the sanctions measures. Pakistan had earlier, with help from China, sought the listing of 4 Indians for alleged terrorist activities by the same committee.


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