China again blocked India’s bid to ban Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar. China is one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers. According to other government sources, its move was made in “consultation” with Pakistan, which is not on the UN Committee.
India registered a strong protest, saying such a move, made only on “technical grounds,” was “incomprehensible”.
Accusing the committee of a “selective approach to combating terrorism” owing to its working methods based on the “unanimity and anonymity,” India said it does not “reflect well” on the determination the international community needs to display to defeat terrorism.
After the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot on January 2, India had written to the UN calling for immediate action to list Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
Along with the submission, India had sent strong evidence of the group’s terror activities and its role in the Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian military personnel.
The submission was considered by the relevant UN body for technical aspects of the evidence. It was also sent it to all member countries. In absence of objections, the ban was meant to be announced.
But on Friday, hours before the deadline, China requested the Committee to put the matter on hold.
The UN had banned Masood Azhar’s terror outfit, Jaish-e Mohammad, in 2001. But India’s efforts to ban Azhar after the Mumbai terror attack was not successful as China didn’t allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan.
“The recent terror attack in Pathankot on January 2nd has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar,” read a statement released by the external affairs ministry in Washington.
Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying that its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness”. Beijing had again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.