New Delhi: China has yet again blocked India's bid at the United Nations to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack.
According to highly placed sources, just hours before the deadline, earlier on Friday, China requested the UN committee, which is considering a ban on the JeM chief, to keep on hold the designation.
India has taken strong exception to this, with Union minister Kiren Rijiju saying New Delhi will take "appropriate action". "What China has done was not good. Ministry of External Affairs will take appropriate action. Whatever action is required, we will take," he said.
Following the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot on 2 January, India wrote to the UN in February calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
The submission was armed with strong evidence of the outfit's terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel.
India also told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar would expose it and other countries in South Asia to threats from the terror group.
The India submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team, with the support of the US, UK and France, then sent it to all the members, sources said.
All were told that if there are no objections the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline. "However, hours before the deadline, China requested the committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief," sources said.
According to other government sources, the Chinese action was in "consultation" with Pakistan, which is not on the UN committee. The UN had banned JeM in 2001, but India’s efforts to ban Azhar after the Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, didn’t allow the ban, apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.