UN designates JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist

UN designates JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Wednesday designated Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him.
A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.
China removed its hold on the proposal, which was moved by France, UK and the US in the Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February just days after the deadly Pulwama attack carried out by JeM.
A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China was the sole hold-out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar, blocking attempts by placing a “technical hold” and asking for “more time to examine” the proposal.
When asked whether China has lifted the hold, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin told PTI that “yes, done.”
“Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support,” Akbaruddin tweeted.
The sanctions committee makes its decisions by consensus of its Members.
In recent days, there had been indications that China is likely to come around and will lift its hold on the Azhar proposal. Beijing had said on Tuesday that the vexed issue of designating Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN will be “properly resolved.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing Tuesday that “we support the listing issue being settled within the 1267 committee through dialogue and consultation and I believe this is the consensus of most members. Second, the relevant consultations are going on within the committee and has achieved some progress. Third, I believe, with the joint efforts of all parties, this issue can be properly resolved.”
Beijing put the hold on the proposal on March 13, scuttling yet another attempt to blacklist the JeM chief. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar.
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.
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.
Keeping up the international pressure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the US, supported by France and the UK, moved a draft resolution directly in the UN Security Council to blacklist the JeM’s head.
Beijing had staunchly opposed the Azhar listing to be taken directly to the powerful UN body as it would have had to publicly explain its stand on its reservations to list Azhar, whose group JeM has already been designated as terror outfit by the UN, before exercising its veto.
PTI