US moves UN for Masood Azhar's ban, China again puts a 'hold'

Masood Azhar
Masood Azhar

New Delhi: A significant bid by the US in the UN, for designating Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, has been stymied by China which has again opposed the ban against the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief.

The American proposal came barely weeks after India's efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in December last.

According to senior government sources, the US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal at the UN's Sanctions Committee 1267 in the second-half of last month to proscribe Azhar.

The proposal, which was finalised after "consultations" between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said. "However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal," a source said, adding the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

The "hold" remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a "block", thereby, ending the life of the proposal. UN Sanction Committee's listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.

India said it has taken up the matter with Beijing. "We have been informed of this development and the matter has been taken up with the Chinese government," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

Farce of Saeed's arrest
JuD chief Hafiz Saeed was recently put under house arrest by Pakistan amidst pressure from the Trump administration to act against terror. This is not the first time that this has happened. Saeed was put under house arrest after the Mumbai attack, but was released about six months later in June 2009.

Vikas Swarup , External affairs ministry spokesperson said, "Exercises such as orders against Hafiz Saeed and others have been carried out by Pakistan in the past also. Only a credible crackdown on the Mumbai attack mastermind and terrorist organisations involved in cross-border terrorism will be proof of Pakistan's sincerity."

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