India Fumes After China Blocks UN Sanctions On Masood Azhar

02/04/2016 7:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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INDRANIL MUKHERJEE via Getty Images
Indian activists carry placards of the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Maulana Masood Azhar during a protest against the attack on the air force base in Pathankot, in Mumbai on January 4, 2016. Indian troops backed by helicopters searched an air force base January 4, after a weekend of fierce fighting with suspected Islamic insurgents in which seven soldiers and at least four attackers were killed. AFP PHOTO/ Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

India has reacted sharply to China scuttling its attempt to get JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN, but China stood its ground.

Expressing its strong "disappointment" over the development, India said it finds it "incomprehensible" that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in UN Security Council Committee for its well known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda, the designation of the group's "main leader, financier and motivator" has been put on a "technical hold".

In a strongly-worded statement, India slammed China's virtual veto of its attempt to blacklist Pathankot terror strike mastermind Azhar, saying "this does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism".

Last July, China had similarly halted India's move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the UN sanctions committee was taking a "selective approach" in tackling terrorism, adding that "Its working methods, based on the principles of unanimity and anonymity, is leading the Committee to adopt a selective approach to combating terrorism."

However, China defended its action, maintaining JeM chief does not qualify to be nailed as a "terrorist" to face UN sanctions as his case "did not meet" the Security Council's requirements.

After the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot on January 2, India in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

"Any listing would have to meet the requirements" for blacklisting, Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN Liu Jieyi told reporters yesterday in response to questions over China's decision to place a 'technical hold' on designating Azhar in the UN Sanctions Committee.

After the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot on January 2, India in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

The India submission was considered by the Counter- Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, UK and France had sent it to all the members. However, hours before the deadline, China requested the Committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei defended China's decision, saying that it acts on such issues based on facts and rules in an "objective and just manner".

This is not the first time China has blocked India's bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN.

The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India's efforts for a ban on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.

Last July, China had similarly halted India's move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying that its stand was "based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness" with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.

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