China’s objection came an hour before the deadline, after which the resolution to tag him a “global terrorist” would have been considered adopted by the UN Security Council.
WASHINGTON: Hours after China blocked a move to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, UN Security Council members today warned they “may be forced to pursue other actions” at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy.
“If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that,” a Security Council diplomat was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Beijing blocked the move for the fourth time on the ground that it needed more time to examine the sanctions request on Masood Azhar, diplomats said. China’s objection came an hour before the deadline, after which the resolution to tag him a “global terrorist” would have been considered adopted by the UN Security Council.
The resolution on Masood Azhar was moved by three permanent members of Security Council – the US, France and the UK – after the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 soldiers died. The resolution, say sources, was backed by an unprecedented number of countries going into the “double digits”.
India said it was “disappointed by this outcome” but said it will “pursue all available avenues” to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in the attack on Indians. The Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM, headed by 50-year-old Azhar, has carried out many terror strikes in India and was involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot air force base, army camps in Jammu and Uri.
“This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on this listing. China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do,” another security council diplomat was quoted as saying by PTI.
“China’s move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combating terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia,” the diplomat added.
The diplomat also accused Pakistan of depending on China to protect terrorist groups and leaders that operate from its soil. “Pakistan has quite often depended on China to protect it from the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups and individuals in the UN 1267 sanctions committee,” the diplomat said.
“The case for designating Masood Azhar – the leader of a group the UN already calls an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization – is undeniable,” the diplomat said.
The US and other members of the Security Council have supported India’s call on a ban of Azhar. On Tuesday, the Trump administration had said that Azhar meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations and China’s opposition to the move to “update” the designation list will be against the interests of Washington and Beijing in achieving regional stability and peace. “Our views on Jaish-e-Mohammad and its founder are well known. JeM is a UN-designated terrorist group. Azhar is the founder and the leader of JEM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations. JEM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace,” US State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters.