China blocks move to designate JeM chief as global terrorist again
India on Wednesday said it was "disappointed" after China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" by putting a technical hold on the proposal.
The US, the UK and France had moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terror group JeM's chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
The proposal was moved by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council.
The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3.00 pm local time (New York) Wednesday, (12.30 am IST Thursday).
Just before the deadline, China put a "technical hold" on the proposal, a diplomat at the UN told PTI.
The diplomat said China asked for "more time to examine" the proposal.
The technical hold is valid for up to six months and it can be again extended by up to three months.
Reacting to the development, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi expressed disappointment.
"The 1267 Sanctions Committee, upon completion of the no-objection period on 13 March 2019, wasn't able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019," the ministry said.
China, a close ally of Pakistan, has consistently blocked moves first by India and later by the US, the UK and France to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the 1267 Committee by putting technical holds.
In 2009, India moved a proposal to designate Azhar, whose UN-proscribed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the suicide attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama on February 14 in which over 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.
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 airbase in Pathankot in January 2016.
In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.
An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.
China has been insisting that the solution should be acceptable to all.
JeM was responsible for the Pulwama terror attack that killed over 44 CRPF personnel on February 14.
The JeM had earlier carried out many terror strikes in India and was also involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot air force base, Army camps in Jammu and Uri.
Earlier on Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino had said that Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace.
China's opposition to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the UN runs counter to its mutual goal with the US on regional stability, he said.