China blocks India’s move to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar at UN

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India has registered a strong protest against China after it has blocked India’s bid at the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. India protested such move saying that it was made on ‘technical ground grounds’, and it is ‘incomprehensible’. India accused the committee of ‘selective approach to combat terrorism’ based on the principles of ‘unanimity and anonymity’. “This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism,” External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

China is one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers. Experts believe that China’s move was made in consultation with Pakistan, which is not on the UN Committee. “The recent terror attack in Pathankot on January 2 has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar,” the Indian government said in a statement.

China had requested the UN Committee, which was considering a ban on the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM, to keep on hold the designation. India had made serious request to the UN for immediate action on Mr Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, after the terror attack in Pathankot. India had also presented strong evidence of the group’s terror activities and its involvement in the Pathankot attacks that killed seven security personnel.

India’s request was being considered by the UN committee for technical aspects of the evidence provided to them. The committee had sent documents related to this case to all member countries. The ban was expected to be announced in the absence of objection.

Reports suggest that 14 of the 15 countries on the UN Security Council were willing to designate Mr Azhar a terrorist, but China used its veto power to block the move. On the other hand, China said its decision not to back India’s appeal to the United Nations to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar was based on ‘facts’ and ‘procedure’. “We always deal with the listing issue under the Security Council committee established under Resolution1267 based on facts and relevant rules of procedure in an objective and just manner. The Chinese side has always been in communication with relevant parties on the listing issue,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said.

China had blocked UN sanctions against JeM chief earlier in August 2009 as well. China on three occasions blocked efforts to put sanctions on Jamaat-Ud-Dawa and its chief Hafiz Saeed in April 2006, May 2007 and December 2010.