All Eyes on China Ahead of UN Decision on Masood Azhar

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WASHINGTON — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will, on Wednesday, make a crucial decision on sanctioning Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar. 

A day ahead of the decision, the US, on Tuesday said that there was enough evidence to designate Azhar as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace.

Previously, several attempts by the permanent members of UNSC- US, France and Britain, have been thwarted by China, which has been Pakistan’s all-weather ally and holds veto power at the UN body.

In a meeting with the Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in Washington on Monday US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo emphasised the need for an immediate action against terrorists, the State Department said. 

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expected to take up a resolution on March 13 that seeks to declare the JeM chief a global terrorist. But China reminded the UNSC on Monday that “a responsible solution” can come only through discussions.

Since 2001, when the JeM was first listed as an entity, to 2008 in the wake of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, to 2016, after the Pathankot airbase attack, the UNSC has failed to put Azhar on its list, mainly due to opposition from China.

China in the past blocked at least three attempts to bring the JeM chief under UN sanction.

China urged the international community to also focus on the Kashmir dispute while demanding such issues. “China’s position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang when asked about China’s stand on the issue.

“China adopted a responsible attitude, followed the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner. Only through discussions can we come up with a responsible solution,” he said.

Diplomatic sources in Washington said that the United States, which jointly moved the resolution along with Britain and France, wants the UNSC to adopt the resolution this time. Besides asking China not to veto the move, Washington is also using its influence in Pakistan to soften its opposition, the sources added.


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