Hours before United Nations listing, China hints it may block Azhar ban again

Hours before United Nations listing, China hints it may block Azhar ban again

It had previously prevented the Security Council's Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

Another way for western powers to blacklist Azhar would be through the adoption of a Security Council resolution, which needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain or France to pass.

In a statement issued in Delhi immediately after it knew the proposal on the Jaish chief had been blocked, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the 1267 sanctions committee - its formal name is the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee - was "not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold".

China has blocked the move by India and others states three times in the past.

"Without solid evidence, India has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks by Jaish-e-Mohammed and other militant groups and China of providing uncritical support for Pakistan".

India has expressed disappointment over China's decision but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

China vetoes resolution in UNSC seeking ban on JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar

Listing of Azhar as a terrorist would have meant a significant diplomatic victory for India and resulted in restrictions on his travel and freezing of his assets. Germany pledged to be a co-sponsor to the proposal late on Wednesday.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys had preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to the UNSC member countries.

Pressuring Pakistan to deliver on its counter-terrorism commitments and the move to designate Azhar a global terrorist figured in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale's meeting with USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo. In an unusually tough message, the diplomat said Beijing "should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country" if it is serious about combatting terrorism. Pompeo told the Indian foreign secretary that Pakistan should to take "meaningful action" against terrorist groups.

The State Department said in a statement that Pompeo affirmed that the United States stands with the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism.

"The UN Security Council and its subsidiary bodies are run on strict rules.We already stressed China's position on the listing of terrorist organizations and individuals in the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on many occasions", Lu said. Standing solidly behind its "Iron Brother" Pakistan, China ignored worldwide efforts to clamp down on cross-border terrorism. In response to a question on China's stance on banning Masood Azhar at the 1267 committee of the UNSC, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing wanted a closure of the issue, based on consensus achieved through dialogue.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also recently denied in a television interview that JeM had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

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