China blocks ban on Maulana Masood Azhar for fourth time

One India    

14 March, 2019 09:07 AM

China blocks ban on Maulana Masood Azhar for fourth time

Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Maulana Masood Azhar. File photo

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China has yet again blocked the proposal to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" by the UN Security Council. China has reportedly put a technical hold on the resolution.

The proposal was moved by France, the US and the UK to designate Azhar a global terrorist. China has blocked such a move thrice since 2009.

"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," Indian Ministry of External (MEA) said on Thursday.

"We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019," it added.

The MEA further said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice.

"We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors," the MEA statement added.

China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, and an "all-weather ally" of Pakistan had blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee even in 2009 and 2016. In 2017, Beijing also blocked a move by the US, the UK and France to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

China had on Wednesday hinted that it may once again block the move, saying only "the solution that is acceptable to all sides" is conducive to resolve the issue.

New Delhi had reached out to key players ahead of listing of Masood Azhar by the United Nations Security Council.

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

The fresh move to list Azhar came in the backdrop of the JeM claiming responsibility for the suicide attack in Kashmir's Pulwama on February 14.