India redoubles efforts to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist ahead of UNSC deadline; China remains ambiguous

  • Ahead of the deadline to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, India is engaged in frantic parleys with key players like the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey

  • The United Nations Security Council 1267 sanctions committee is likely to take up the issue on Wednesday

  • China is seemingly the only — and consistent — barrier from listing Azhar, whose terror outfit claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack, as a UN-proscribed global terrorist

  • The US, the UK, and France had moved a proposal at the UNSC soon after the attack to designate Azhar as a global terrorist

Ahead of the deadline to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, India is engaged in frantic parleys with key players like the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey. The United Nations Security Council 1267 sanctions committee is likely to take up the issue on Wednesday.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj’s conversations with top leaders across the world, China is seemingly the only — and consistent — barrier from listing Azhar, whose terror outfit claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, as a UN-proscribed global terrorist.

The US, the UK, and France had moved a proposal at the UNSC soon after the attack to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

 India redoubles efforts to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist ahead of UNSC deadline; China remains ambiguous

File image of Masood Azhar. Reuters

However, China on Monday said that a “responsible solution” of the issue can only be reached through discussion. Beijing also said security issues constituted an "important topic" in its talks to ease tensions between Pakistan and India following the Pulwama terror attack. China is yet to announce its official stand.

Asked about India's appeal and China's stand on the issue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told media in Beijing, "First I would like to say that the UNSC as a main body of the UN has strict standards and rules of procedures. Some reports have knowledge of inside information the UNSC. I don't know that can be counted as evidence," he said.

"China's position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear. China adopted a responsible attitude, follows the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner. Only through discussions can we come up with a responsible solution," he said.

Recently Chinese vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou travelled to Pakistan and held talks with Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan's army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other officials.

To another question whether Azhar's ban issue figured in China's talks with Pakistan, Lu said "recently India and Pakistan has experienced a lot. We think those indents are not in the interest of peace and stability in the region".

"We have engaged in mediation efforts with both sides and held talks to promote the easing of tensions. We made enormous efforts. While exchanging ideas security is an important topic and I can say that our talks were wide ranging quite deep," he said.

Tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of JeM killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district on 14 February. Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on 26 February.

The next day, the Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured an Indian pilot, who was handed over to India on 1 March.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2019 11:56:32 IST