China on Friday once again refused to back India’s appeal at the United Nations to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, PTI reported. China’s refusal came a day after the Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, which killed at least 40 jawans.
Apart from the Pulwama attack, Azhar is accused of having carried out several terror attacks in India, including the one on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, where 17 members of the security forces were killed. Azhar was identified as the mastermind of the 2016 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot. Azhar is also wanted by India for his involvement in the Parliament attack case and a bomb blast at the Srinagar Assembly in 2001.
“We are deeply shocked by this attack,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a media briefing, News18 reported. “We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families.”
However, Beijing declined to back New Delhi’s plea to get Azhar listed as a terrorist. “As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of the [United Nations] Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations,” Geng said when asked about India’s request. “Jaish-e-Mohammed has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list.” He added that China will handle the matter of sanctions in a “constructive and responsible manner”.
China holds veto power in the United Nations Security Council. In November, China blocked for the fourth time an attempt by the United States, France and the United Kingdom to add Azhar’s name to the UN terrorist list because “there was no consensus”.