China blocks Masood Azhar's listing as global terrorist for the fourth time

China blocks Masood Azhar's listing as global terrorist for the fourth time

Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad's (JeM) leader Masood Azhar a global terrorist, UNSC members warned they "may be forced to pursue other actions" at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba chief, Hafiz Saeed, and his deputy, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi were both placed on the lost after the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Asked to clarify whether the issue has been listed for discussion for March 13 and China is in talks with all the parties concerned, Lu said, "First I want to clarify that I don't recall saying anything about the deadline about the UNSC committee and other United Nations subsidiary bodies".

China has placed Azhar under its protection and vetoed moves to declare him a global terrorist that would subject him to United Nations sanctions.

"We are disappointed by this outcome".

It further stated how China's non-cooperation has prevented any action by the worldwide community to enlist the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

Officially, there is no word on which country has objected to the listing of Masood Azhar, as the proceedings of the UNSC sanctions committee take place behind closed door and are only limited to the member states. There were high level visits to India including by the Chinese defence and foreign ministers as part of the efforts to mend ties. "If China is serious about these goals, it should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country from being held accountable to the Council", the statement said.

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The statement also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces.

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. Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, Poland, Italy, Japan and Belgium were among the cosponsors of the proposal.

After the Pulwama suicide car-bombing by the JeM that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on February 14, France is spearheading a renewed effort with British and the USA backing to put sanctions on Azhar. However, signs from Beijing over the last two weeks had not shown any sign that it would change its mind.

"China adopted a responsible attitude, followed the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner".

The olive branch, however, was responded with air raids in Pakistan's Balakot area on February 26 by India. In December 2001, Jaish fighters, along with members of another Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, attacked India's parliament, which nearly led to a fourth war between the two countries.

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