(TibetanReview.net, Mar15’19) – For the fourth time in the last 10 years, China has on Mar 13 blocked the UN Security Council from declaring Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”. India has expressed disappointment, but refused to name China whose concern was to protect its all-weather friend Pakistan.
India’s External Affairs Ministry (MEA) has said, without naming China, the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee was not able to come to a decision on the proposal to list Azhar on account of a member country placing the proposal on hold.
“We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14,” the MEA said.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on Feb 27, nearly two weeks after the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir in which 40 paramilitary CRPF personnel were killed. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack and India presented evidences but China still insists there’s no proof to condemn Azhar.
India first moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar in 2009. It again moved the proposal in 2016 with the United States, the United Kingdom and France after the JeM attacked the Indian airbase in Pathankot in Jan 2016. In 2017, these P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocked the proposals from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.
“Our action is to make sure that the committee will have enough time to study the matter so that the relevant sides will have time for dialogue and consultation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India Mar 14.
India vowed to continue to pursue the matter. “We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice,” read a statement issued by India’s foreign ministry.
India has been critical of the opaque process by which the sanctions committee lists terrorists. Its proceedings and decisions are confidential and members do not have to explain their vote.
Some permanent members of the UN Security Council plan to “pursue other actions” to counter China’s continued opposition to designating Azhar, hindustantimes.com Mar 14 cited a Security Council diplomat as saying, stressing the case for listing the Pakistan-based terrorist was “undeniable”.
“If China continues to block this designation, responsible member states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that,” the diplomat was quoted as saying.