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China's dissent on Azhar counters mutual goals

14 March 2019

In a note sent to the UN Security Council, China on Wednesday said it needed more time to examine the sanctions request targeting Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, diplomats said.

Thanking the member states who moved the designation proposal and all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors, the MEA said that India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who were involved in heinous attacks on its citizens were brought to justice. The deadline for any country to seek clarification - the United Nations jargon for raising an objection - was 3 PM New York time Wednesday, which is 12.30 AM IST on Thursday.

As the founder and leader of the Pakistan-based JeM, Azhar "meets the criteria for the designation by the UN" as a global terrorist subject to its sanctions, Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said on Tuesday.

ANI reported about India's ministry of external affairs response that stated, "We are disappointed by this outcome".

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China recorded its "technical hold" with the "1267 sanctions committee" that aims to impose strictures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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. Beijing previously put a technical hold on similar proposals at the UNSC thrice.

"China's move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combatting terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia", said the diplomat, requesting not to be named to speak frankly, given that the deliberations of the United Nations sanctions committee are confidential, thus preventing member-countries from talking about it in public.

China, which is one of the five veto-powered members of the Security Council, so far has been asserting that there is not enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.

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Hectic diplomatic and political parleys had preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to the UNSC member countries. In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016. The United States is urging Pakistan to see the "urgency" of taking action against them.

Responding to a question regarding India-Pakistan ties, Kang said that the recent series of incidents are "not conducive to the peace and stability in South Asia".

"The FM assured me that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to de-escalate tensions with India", he wrote.

"Not entirely unexpected, but nonetheless a slap to India's face after last month's bloody suicide-bombing in Kashmir".

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China's dissent on Azhar counters mutual goals