India ‘disappointed’ after China blocks bid to ban JeM chief for 4th time

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

Washington, March 13, 2019: China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations 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 on Wednesday, a move India termed as disappointing.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the United Kingdom and the United States on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

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 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 said.

Reacting to the development, the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi expressed disappointment.

“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.

“We are grateful to all countries who supported the bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist,” it said.

India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said in a tweet: “Big,Small & Many…1 big state holds up, again…1 small signal @UN against terror. Grateful to the many states – big & small – who in unprecedented numbers, joined as co-sponsors of the effort.”

Congressman Brad Sherman described the Chinese move as unacceptable.

“Once again, China has blocked the UN from imposing sanctions on Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which carried out the Pulwama attack in India in February. This is unacceptable,” he said.

“I urge Beijing to allow the UN to place sanctions on Azhar, the leader of a UN-recognised terrorist organisation,” Sherman said.

Several American think-tank members slammed China for its decision delaying the Azhar listing.

“Today, China doubled down on a very bad bet. It blocked yet another round of UN sanctions on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar weeks after the group claimed credit for the deadliest terror attack in Kashmir,” Jeff Smith from the Heritage Foundation said.

“This one won’t be undone by another romantic stroll through Wuhan,” he said, indicating that such a move by Beijing would only escalate the tension between India and China.

“Not entirely unexpected, but nonetheless a slap on India’s face after last month’s bloody suicide-bombing in Kashmir. Also raises serious questions about the benefits of Modi’s photo-op diplomacy with Xi Jinping,” tweeted Sadanand Dhume from American Enterprise Institute. PTI

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