India is likely to pursue a ban on extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, PTI reported on Sunday. The UN General Assembly will begin in New York on Monday, and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to address the forum on September 23.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, has said that New Delhi hopes the United Nations would designate Azhar a terrorist. Azhar was identified as the mastermind behind the 2016 Pathankot attack. Akbaruddin said the matter is sub-judice as it is currently with a UN committee.
“We hope that the committee will be able to fulfill its role in designating Masood Azhar who we have tried for quite some time but have not succeeded yet,” he added. “However, we would like to make it very clear, we will pursue Masood Azhar so that the ends of justice are met”.
China had blocked India’s efforts to ban the group last year. But, on September 4, leaders of the Brics countries had issued a statement identifying Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad among terror groups. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa make up the Brics bloc.
India has said Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad played a key role in the Pathankot and Uri attacks in 2016. In December 2016, the National Investigation Agency had 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.