Once Again, China Blocks Terror Listing for Masood Azhar listing in UN

Masood Azhar UNSC

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. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief, Hafiz Saeed, and his deputy, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi were both placed on the lost after the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs said Pompeo had expressed his "understanding" of India's concerns regarding cross-border terrorism.

"We already stressed China's position on the listing of terrorist organisations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions".

The postponement could last nine months, and it is the fourth time China - a close ally of Pakistan - has blocked attempts to have Mr Azhar designated as a terrorist.

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"We are disappointed. We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorists involved in attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice", the MEA said. "China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do", another security council diplomat told PTI.

"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". There were high level visits to India including by the Chinese defence and foreign ministers as part of the efforts to mend ties. Also, India's growing proximity to the U.S., 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. The MEA posted a statement in response to a query on Beijing's role: "We are deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked global consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist and leader of UN-designated terrorist organisation, Masood Azhar". Russia, the other permanent member of the UNSC, also backed the move.

The Indian dossier was supplementing the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the permanent members, and of other co-sponsors like Germany.

France, US and United Kingdom had proposed the listing of Azhar as an worldwide terrorist and if no country raises any issue by March 13, Azhar will be put on the UN terror list. "China's position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang when asked about China's stand on the issue.

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"China will continue to uphold a responsible attitude and deal with this issue with relevant parties via thorough consultation".

Pakistan's Foreign Office also issued a statement on Monday which said that Mr Qureshi informed Mr Bolton that the Indian aggression of Feb 26 was a violation of Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter.

"I urge Beijing to allow the United Nations to place sanctions on Azhar, the leader of a UN-recognized terrorist organization", Sherman said. "A sad day in the global fight against terrorism".

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