China on Thursday once again blocked an attempt by the United States, France and the United Kingdom to add Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar to the United Nations’ list of internationally recognised terrorists, PTI reported.
China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has veto rights. It said on Thursday that it rejected the move as “there was no consensus”.
Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed is already on the UN’s list of banned terror outfits.
In response to China’s latest use of its veto power, the Ministry of External Affairs said India was “deeply disappointed that once again, a single country has blocked international consensus on the designation of an acknowledged terrorist”.
“India strongly believes that double standards and selective approaches will only undermine the international community’s resolve to combat terrorism,” the ministry spokesperson said. “We can only hope that there will be a realisation that accommodating with terrorism for narrow objectives is both short sighted and counter productive.”
In August, China had extended its technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by three months. “We raised a technical hold to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said. “But there is still absence of consensus.”
This meant China could veto the application and allow it to lapse.
On Monday, when asked whether Beijing was blocking the move to declare Azhar a global terrorist under the influence of Pakistan, Hua had said: “We believe the committee should follow the principles of objectivity, professionalism and fairness and reach a decision by a consensus based on solid proof.”
Azhar was identified as the mastermind of the 2016 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot. India has maintained that Azhar and the JeM also played a key role in the attack the Indian Army’s Uri base in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016. In December 2016, the National Investigation Agency had filed a chargesheet against him 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 Afghanistan’s Kandahar in 1999. India released Azhar and two other militants in exchange for passengers and crew who were being held hostage by the hijackers.