China on Wednesday blocked a proposal by India and the United States at the United Nations to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar, a commander of the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, Reuters reported.
Abdul Rauf Azhar is the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and is accused of planning to hijack the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 in 1999. Masood Azhar was released from prison in India in exchange for the release of the passengers on the flight.
At the United Nations Security Council India and the United States proposed to ban Abdul Rauf Azhar from travelling anywhere in the world and freeze his assets.
Such a proposal has to be cleared by all 15 members of the Security Council sanctions committee.
A spokesperson for China’s mission to the United Nations said that Beijing needed more time to examine the case and the proposal. “Placing holds is provided for by the Committee guidelines, and there have been quite a number of similar holds by Committee members on listing requests,” the spokesperson said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the United States mission to the global body said that Washington respects the need of other countries to check if a sanctions proposal meets its “domestic evidentiary threshold” for listing at the United Nations.
“The United States values cooperation with our Security Council partners to effectively use this tool in an apolitical way to stop terrorists from exploiting the global order to do their misdeeds,” the spokesperson said.
Abdul Rauf Azhar was sanctioned by the United States in 2010 for allegedly urging Pakistani citizens to engage in militant activities against India.
This was the second instance in less than two months that China blocked action at the United Nations against a militant allegedly based in Pakistan.
In June, Beijing had put on hold a proposal to sanction terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, according to PTI.
On Tuesday, India criticised a report by the United Nations secretary general on terrorism and said that the credibility of the global body’s sanctions regime was at an all-time low. In an indirect reference to Pakistan and China, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj said that the report “chose not to take notice of the activities of the several proscribed groups repeatedly targeting India”.
She had said that the practice of placing holds on proposals without giving any justification needed to end.