US moves UN to get JeM chief Masood Azhar declared global terrorist: China blocks it

07 February 2017

The United States has made a fresh bid in the United Nations to declare Pakistani terrorist and mastermind of several attacks on India, including the one on Pathankot airbase, Masood Azhar, be named an international terrorist and his outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) be banned, but only to be blocked by China.

The US, supported by the UK and France, is reported to have moved a proposal at the UN's Sanctions Committee 1267 to proscribe Azhar, but that proposal was put on hold after China's opposition.

It was submitted just a day before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, according to officials.

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 PTI report quoting sources source said that 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 imposed asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries, including Pakistan.

China was the only country among the 15-member Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council that objected to India`s application to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

India's application to get Azhar banned had lapsed after two technical holds put up by China in the 1267 Committee.

The Chinese opposition is also seen by many as an action taken at the behest of its "all-weather ally" Pakistan.

Azhar, a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan, was one of the three terrorists freed by India in exchange of 166 hostages of Indian Airlines plane IC-814 which was hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999.

Azhar, at that time, belonged to Harkat-ul Mujahideen, and soon after his release, he floated the new outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad in Pakistan which carried out several attacks in India, including on Parliament on 13 December 2001 and Pathankot air base.

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