Will UNSC listed Masood Azhar? D-day today

Blanche Robertson
March 14, 2019

The United States is urging Pakistan to see the "urgency" of taking action against "terrorists" as the UN Security Council takes up a resolution declaring Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief, Hafiz Saeed, and his deputy, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi were both placed on the lost after the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

"I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue", Lu said.

The remarks came after China - in a note accessed by NDTV - put a last-minute "hold" on a proposal moved by the US, UK and France to designate Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Security Council.

According to a comment piece in the Chinese newspaper Global Times, India failed to provide "solid evidence" against Azhar and said China rightly practised caution against listing him as a terrorist.

In a statement released by the MEA after the move, it asserted that India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on Indians are brought to justice.

"We are disappointed by this outcome".

Officially, there is no word on which country has objected to the listing of Masood Azhar, as the proceedings of the UNSC sanctions committee take place behind closed door and are only limited to the member states. In an unusually tough message, the diplomat said Beijing "should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country" if it is serious about combatting terrorism.

In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar, whose JeM had taken responsibility for the suicide attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

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The statement also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces.

The Indian dossier was supplementing the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the permanent members, and of other co-sponsors like Germany.

The next year, the US, UK and France moved a similar proposal, but China vetoed the bid on all occasions.

Lu said the Chinese position on Masood Azhar was delinked from the immediacy of the Wednesday's vote at the 1267 committee of the UNSC. However, signs from Beijing over the last two weeks had not shown any sign that it would change its mind.

However, he refrained from making a direct comment on the deliberations inside the United Nations on this issue.

Earlier in the day, China had signalled that it was not yet prepared to step aside and allow the UNSC to list terror the JeM founder as an worldwide terrorist.

On Monday, America's National Security Advisor John Bolton tweeted that he had spoken with Pakistani Foreign Miniter Shah Mahmood Qureshi to "encourage meaningful steps against JeM and other terrorist groups operating from Pakistan".

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