China says it needs 'solid evidence' to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will hold a key strategic dialogue with Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui on February 22.
Days before a strategic meeting with India, China on Friday said it needs “solid evidence” against Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar to agree to him being listed as a global terrorist at the United Nations, PTI reported. “If there is solid evidence, the application can be approved. If there is no solid evidence there is hardly consensus,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will hold a key dialogue with Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui on February 22. Jaishankar is likely to raise subjects such as India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and efforts to ban Azhar at the UN Security Council. Shuang said relevant countries have made another application with the 1267 sanctions committee, but they have failed to reach a consensus so far.
On February 7, the United States had moved the United Nations to include Azhar in its list of banned global militants. However, China had opposed the proposal. China then blocked similar proposals by India in October and December.
On India’s NSG bid, the spokesperson said the NSG members first need to decide on allowing countries that are not part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to join. He said other non-NPT state parties have also made applications, and Beijing’s position on those applications is the same.
“Whether 1267 or the NSG issue, they are in essence multilateral issues not bilateral issues,” Shuang said.
India has alleged that Azhar’s JeM played a key role in the Pathankot and Uri militant attacks last year. On December 19, the National Investigation Agency also 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 after an Indian Airlines flight was hijacked in Kandahar in 2001.