In a rebuff to India, China on Friday finally blocked its proposal to get Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief and Pathankot mastermind Masood Azhar banned as terrorist by the United Nations, evoking a sharp reaction from New Delhi which accused it of "double standards" in dealing with terrorism.
Terming the action by China as "surprising", External Affairs Ministry said it had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism.
"We note with concern China's decision to block the proposal to list Masood Azhar," India said, asserting that its proposal, submitted to the 15-member 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council in February, received the strong backing of all other members of the Committee.
With China blocking New Delhi's proposal just a day before expiry of Beijing's "technical hold", India or any other country has to now make a fresh listing request for Azhar to be banned by the global body otherwise it will remain as permanent block, officials said.
China had twice imposed "technical hold" on the Indian proposal since its submission.
However, India said it will continue to push forward with resolute determination "through the use of all options available with us to bring perpetrators of terrorist violence to justice".
"The international community is aware that the Pakistan-based JeM which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible for innumerable terrorist attacks on India including the Pathankot air base attack.
"The inability of the international community to list its leader Masood Azhar is an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and confirms prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism," MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
The decision by Beijing is "surprising" as China itself has been affected by the scourge of terrorism and has declared opposition to all forms of terrorism, the spokesperson added.
"As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organisation. We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and would join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism," he added.
UN Sanction Committee's listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.