United Nations: India has formally approached the UN to include Jaish-e-Mohammad chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar in the Security Council's sanctions list, strongly emphasising the urgency to take action against him.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin yesterday wrote to New Zealand Ambassador Gerard Jacoubus van Bohemen, the Chair of the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, submitting India's request that the JeM chief's name be included in the committee's sanctions list.
Armed with strong evidence of the outfit's terror activities and its role in the 2 January Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian soldiers, India told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar has clearly demonstrated how it and other countries in South Asia continue to face threats posed by the terror group and its leader.
Calling for immediate action to be taken to list Azhar under the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, India said it is the responsibility of the committee to protect UN nations and its citizens from terror groups like the JeM and its leaders.
Listing Azhar will prove that the global community is committed to tackling the scourge of terrorism and will help protect Indian citizens and those of other countries from the terror threats posed by him and his outfit, India said. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said in New Delhi that it is a "great anomaly" that the organisation JeM is listed but its leader is not.
India also noted that following the Pathankot attack, Pakistan had taken action against several individuals belonging to the Jaish. The UN had banned JeM in 2001 but India's efforts to ban Azhar after the Mumbai terror attack did not fructify, as China — one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers - did not allow the ban apparently on the behest of Pakistan.
On 18 February, a fresh list of 11 individuals and one organisation linked to terrorism in India, was submitted by New Delhi to the sanctions committee.