China has blocked a proposal at the United Nations to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, The Indian Express reported on Friday. The country is the only nation in the 15-member-strong UN Security Council to oppose the ban on Azhar. It has blocked previous proposals by India.
Reacting to Beijing’s move, Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the decision confirmed the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”. “The decision by China to block [the] proposal to list Masood Azhar as [a] terrorist is surprising as China herself is affected by [the] scourge of terrorism,” Swarup said, according to The Times of India.
The spokesperson added that New Delhi would continue to use all options available to it in the matter. India has alleged that Azhar’s outfit has played a key role in the Pathankot and Uri militant attacks this year. In November, India’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, accused the international organisation of being stuck in a “time warp and politics” with regard to India’s proposal to ban Azhar.
Separately, the National Investigation Agency on December 19 filed a chargesheet against Azhar and two other JeM leaders. Azhar is also wanted by India for his involvement in several other incidents, including the Parliament attack case and the bomb blast at the Srinagar Assembly in 2001. India had released him after an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked in Kandahar in 2001.