India on Thursday demanded that China reconsider its decision to block a proposal that seeks a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Centre had conveyed its views on the matter to Chinese officials in both Beijing and New Delhi. The United States had reportedly moved the United Nations, with support from France and the United Kingdom, to include Azhar in its list of banned global militants.
“We hope China will eventually come around to accepting this view. Obviously, if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be consensus, too,” Swarup told reporters. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang had said that conditions to include Azhar’s name in the list of global terrorists had not been fulfilled, adding that relevant parties had failed to reach a consensus till date.
China’s opposition to the proposal imposes a “hold” period, which lasts for six months and can be extended by another three months. The proposal was moved after Washington and New Delhi held meetings and decided that the Pakistan-based JeM was a designated militant outfit and hence, its leaders cannot travel freely. Government officials told PTI that the US had moved the proposal in the second-half of January. In October and December last year, China had blocked similar proposals by India.
India has alleged that Azhar’s JeM played a key role in the Pathankot and Uri militant attacks last year. In its December 2016 proposal, India explained in detail Azhar’s involvement in the strike on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in January 2016, as well as his role in the September 18 attack on the Indian Army’s Uri base.
On December 19, 2016, the National Investigation Agency had filed a chargesheet against Azhar and two other JeM leaders. Azhar is also wanted by India for his involvement in the Parliament attack case and the bomb blast at the Srinagar Assembly in 2001. India had released him to end a hostage crisis after an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2001.