Washington: India has strongly expressed its disappointment over a 'technical hold' on its bid to include Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar in the UN sanctions list, terming the move 'incomprehensible'.

Masood Azhar also masterminded the Pathankot attack. Pic/AFP
Masood Azhar also masterminded the Pathankot attack. Pic/AFP

In a strongly-worded statement, India slammed China's virtual veto of its attempt to blacklist Azhar, saying, "This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism."

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the UN sanctions committee was taking a "selective approach" in tackling terrorism. "Its working methods, based on the principles of unanimity and anonymity, is leading the committee to adopt a selective approach to combating terrorism," he said at a press conference on Friday, adding that the move has implications for the entire international community.

India, said Swarup, finds it "incomprehensible" that while the JeM was listed in UN Security Council Committee back in 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda, the designation of the group's main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.

"The terror attack in Pathankot on January 2 has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar," Swarup said.

Chinese permanent representative to the UN Liu Jieyi said Azhar does not qualify to be nailed as a "terrorist" to face UN sanctions as his case "did not meet" the Security Council's requirements. He, however, did not elaborate.

China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, said its decision was based on facts and rules.