May ‘pursue other actions’ if China continues to block Azhar designation: UNSC diplomat

Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) leader Masood Azhar a global terrorist, UNSC members warned they “may be forced to pursue other actions” at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy.

China on Tuesday placed a technical hold on the listing request for Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s (JeM) leader Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 Committee.

A Security Council diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity said there is an “undeniable” case for listing Azhar.

“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 case for designating Masood Azhar – the leader of a group the UN already calls an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organisation – is undeniable,” the diplomat said via an email statement.

“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. China’s move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combatting terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia. If China is serious about these goals, it should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country from being held accountable to the Council,” the statement said.

The diplomat also warned of other possible action at the UNSC should China continue to block Azhar’s designation.

“ 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.”

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, three permanent members of Security Council — the US, France and the UK — had moved a resolution to designate Azhar a glocal terrorist.

Except for China, which wields veto power in the Security Council, all other UNSC members were on board with the move before the al-Qaida (1267) Sanctions Committee.

India has expressed disappointment over China’s decision but said it will “pursue all available avenues” to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

(With inputs from PTI)


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