China again blocks move to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist

JeM founder Masood Azhar. (File Photo) Related News

For the second consecutive year, China on Thursday again blocked another resolution by the US, France and the UK to index Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations, saying “there is no consensus”, as reported by news agency PTI.

Last year in March, China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.

“China has rejected the move as there is no consensus,” sources in the Chinese Foreign Ministry told PTI in Beijing.  The comment came as the China’s technical hold on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist was set to lapse on Thursday. China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. JeM has already been on its banned list.

When Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was asked by media in October why it was repeatedly defending Masood Azhar, Hua said that actions are meant to ensure the authority and efficacy of the UN Committee. “It is in accordance with the resolutions and rules of procedure of the Committee. We will remain in constant touch and coordination with the relevant parties on the resolution and rules of procedure of the Committee,” she said.

Asked if China is resorting to block the move repeatedly at the behest of Pakistan, Hua had said, “We believe that the Committee should follow the principles of objectivity, professionalism and fairness and reach decision by a consensus based on solid proof”. As for listing application by the relevant country, there are disagreements, she said, adding that China’s technical holds are meant to allow for more time for more parties to deliberate on this matter”.

(with PTI inputs)

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