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China again blocks move to list Azhar as global terrorist

By K J M Varma
Last updated on: November 02, 2017 20:51 IST

China on Thursday for the fourth time blocked India, the United States and other nations' bid to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations, saying "there is no consensus" within the members of the sanctions committee.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India's move to put a ban on the JeM chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

 

The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN's list of banned terror outfits.

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.

"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 three-month-old technical hold on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist was set to lapse on Thursday.

The official's comment indicates that China will veto the application in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council to allow it to lapse.

Like last year, China first blocked the US application backed by France and the UK, who are also veto wielding members, with a six-month technical hold followed by another three months as per the rules of the committee.

The application would now lapse as there is no consensus.

Diplomatic sources say China's recurring veto to prevent the UN ban on Azhar poses a major challenge for India, US and other countries.

It is significant that China has rejected US application ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing next week during which his new South Asia policy under which Washington is pressuring Pakistan -- China's all weather ally -- to shutdown all safe havens for terrorists.

China has been defending Pakistan, saying that the world should respect its sacrifices with regard to counter terrorism.

This is the second year in succession that China has blocked the resolution. Last year, China had done the same to stall India's application before the same committee.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing: "We raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter."

Defending China's consistent technical holds, Hua said China's actions are meant to ensure and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council.

"We will continue to follow the mandate of the committee and its rules of procedure and remain in constant communication and coordination with the members of the committee," she said.

To the follow-up questions, Hua said the committee has its rules. The committee is yet reach the consensus.

"The committee is yet to reach an agreement. This is a fact," Hua said.

China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist after having blocked the move in February this year at the UN.

Hua's remarks indicate that China will continue its policy to block moves by India and other countries led by the US to block Azhar's listing during the second term of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which began over a week ago.

China in the past had asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan in order to reach an understanding on Azhar's listing.

In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India to declare Azhar as a global terrorist.

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.

K J M Varma
Source: PTI© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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