India irate as China blocks Masood Azhar sanctions for third time

31 December 2016

India reacted sharply on Friday to China's action of formally blocking sanctions in the UN Security Council against Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief and alleged Pathankot attack mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar. This action was a confirmation of the "double standards" prevalent in the world community's fight against terrorism, India said.

India also said it would continue to push forward with resolute determination "through the use of all options available with us to bring perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice".

"As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organisation. We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism," a spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs said.

"The inability of the international community to list ... Masood Azhar is an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism," he added.

New Delhi, the spokesperson said, was surprised by Beijing's reaction, since China was itself in the cross-hairs of international terrorism. JeM is already under sanctions by the 1267 committee, but Azhar remains out of that list, which would make it easier for him to access funds and travel more freely.

With China blocking New Delhi's proposal just a day before the expiry of Beijing's "technical hold", the proposal now will go into cold storage officials said, until a new listing is proposed. India will probably do that in the coming weeks. India also plans to list other terrorists on the committee, which would leave China with no choice but to continue to support Pakistan and keep blocking terror leaders from sanctions. China has twice imposed "technical hold" on the Indian proposal.

After the meeting of India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China's state councillor Yang Jiechi on 5 November, China indicated clearly there would be no change in its approach to Azhar.

But India's ministry of external affairs had said both sides agreed that the "forthcoming high-level engagement in counter-terrorism field is yet another manifestation of growing convergence of views... on this pressing challenge."

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