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UNSC members may be forced to take “other actions” on Azhar listing: Diplomats warn China

Responsible member-states of the Security Council may be forced to take “other actions” if China continues to block moves to designate Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, diplomats at the UN’s principal organ have warned.

The senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the frustration of the other members of the Security Council after China on Wednesday put a technical hold on the proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

China has blocked four bids in 10 years to get Azhar, a blue-eyed boy of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, listed as a UN-designated global terrorist.

Azhar masterminded many audacious attacks on India, including the 2001 Parliament strike and the recent Pulwama carnage in February that pushed both India and Pakistan to the brink of war.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

“If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn’t have to come to that,” a Security Council diplomat told reporters in an unusual tough warning to China, a close ally of Pakistan.

India has expressed disappointment over China’s decision but said that it will “pursue all available avenues” to bring to justice the terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

 

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