United Nations: The six-month validity of the technical hold imposed by China on India's bid to get JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN will "lapse" soon and the Pathankot attack mastermind could be sanctioned if Beijing does not block the move again.
On 31 March this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India's move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.
China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India's application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi's bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.
Sources have said that the six-month validity of the technical hold is set to "lapse" in about a week-10 days time and unless China again seeks to bloc or veto the resolution on some pretext, the resolution could stand passed automatically, designating Azhar as a terrorist.
The other 14 UNSC members have already supported India's bid and the lapse of the technical hold, coupled with no further objection from China, will essentially mean that there is no opposition to the demand to get Azhar listed under the sanctions committee.
Sources said that in the current environment of "growing global crescendo against terrorism", "can China still stand up alone" and block the designation of an individual who heads an organisation that was listed as a terrorist group by the UN in 2001".
They said a possibility could be that after the lapse of the technical hold, China could seek more time on Azhar's application, in effect allowing the technical hold to continue.
However, China could be questioned by other UNSC members on such an extension, sources said, adding that other member nations in the UNSC could ask as to why Beijing needs more time even after getting a six-month time frame due to its technical hold.
Sources said India is not alone in its bid to get Azhar listed as the US, UK and France had "co-sponsored" the
resolution seeking Azhar's listing.
During the current UN General Assembly session, over 140 nations that have addressed the General Debate have voiced strong condemnation for the growing scourge of terrorism and vowed to combat it.
Sources said against this backdrop can a nation (China) decide to go against the "global consensus" on ramping up efforts to fight terrorism by still going ahead and blocking the bid to get Azhar designated?