China Again Backs JeM Chief Masood Azhar, Defies Naming Him As ‘Global Terrorist’

In India’s bid to name Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, China again on Wenesday defied from supporting it. It has succeeded in putting a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban him. 

A diplomat at the UN told PTI that China put a “technical hold”.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on 27 February, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

The Ministry of External Affairs, while reacting to China’s decision, said that it was “disappointed by this outcome”.

“This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019.”

MEA said in a statement, as per ANI. 

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.

Fourth Bid in 10 Years

The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 PM local time (New York) Wednesday, (12:30 AM IST Thursday).

Just before the close of the deadline, China put a hold on the proposal. The diplomat said China asked for “more time to examine” the proposal.

The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members.

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.

According to the listing rules of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted.

As it has done in the past, Beijing put a technical hold on the proposal just as the deadline was about to end.

China Always Adopts a Responsible Attitude

An inkling of China’s stand on the issue came during Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s press conferences on Monday and Wednesday in Beijing when he was asked about the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UNSC.

“The UN Security Council and its subsidiary bodies are run on strict rules… We already stressed China’s position on the listing of terrorist organisations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions,” Lu said on Monday.

“China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the deliberations in the UNSC 1267 Committee,” Lu said on Wednesday.

On the issue of listing Azhar, he said, “I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue.”

“The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue,” he said, indicating that Beijing may again block the move to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

According to sources, the statement of the case of the latest proposal by France mentioned that JeM had taken responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.