Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Failure to designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist against regional stability, peace

Failure to designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist against regional stability, peace

"Once again, China has blocked the United Nations from imposing sanctions on Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which carried out the Pulwama attack in India in February. 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.

Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed the responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack on Central Reserve Police Force in south Kashmir's Pulwama which claimed the lives of 40 personnel.

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline ends 3 pm Wednesday (12:30am IST). The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

On Tuesday, the USA cautioned China that the failure of the UNSC move to designate Azhar a terrorist, would "run counter" to the shared goal of the two countries of achieving peace and stability in the region.

All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India's bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice. The statement is seen as a hint of yet another veto by China at the UNSC.

On the eve of the crucial decision by the UN Security Council, the Trump Administration on Tuesday made it clear that there is enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.

India has expressed disappointment in the outcome and said it will continue to pursue "all possible avenues to ensure terrorist leaders are brought to justice".

Had the JeM chief been designated a terrorist by the United Nations body, Azhar would have been subjected to global sanctions that require United Nations member countries to not host, arm or finance him.

"This one won't be undone by another romantic stroll through Wuhan", he said, indicating that such a move by Beijing would only escalate the tension between India and China.

"China adopted a responsible attitude, followed the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner".

The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys have preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to member countries of the UNSC. "I would say that the United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace and that a failure to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar would run counter to this goal", US State Dept spokesperson Robert Palladino said.

On Monday, India's foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale met USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo to press the terror issue. Also, India's growing proximity to the United States, sheltering Dalai Lama, and Pakistan's role in China's One Belt One Road strategy are said to be the reasons for China's protecting Pakistan's interests.

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