In yet another setback to India’s bid to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, China on Wednesday put a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban him following the Pulwama terror attack.
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 February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 44 CRPF 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 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.
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.