The United States, the United Kingdom and France on Wednesday moved a fresh proposal at the United Nations Security Council to blacklist Masood Azhar, chief of Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, Reuters reported.
The group had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 security personnel were killed on February 14.
The three permanent members of the UN Security Council have asked the 15-nation Security Council sanctions committee to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, global travel ban and freeze of his assets. The committee members have until March 13 to raise objections, according to the proposal which was seen by Reuters.
China, also a permanent member of the Security Council, is likely to oppose the proposal. It had previously prevented the Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017. On February 15, a day after the Pulwama attack, China had refused to back India’s appeal at the UN to designate Azhar a global terrorist.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the UN has had contacts with India at “various levels” and that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was available to mediate should both parties agree. “The United Nations message both publicly and privately to both sides is to urgently take steps to lower tensions through meaningful mutual engagement and meet the responsibilities to maintain peace and security in the region,” Dujarric said.
The three countries moved the proposal just two days before France assumes the crucial rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, according to PTI. Unidentified officials said France was focussed on bringing “individual listing requests of JeM terrorists to the 1267 Committee soon”.
The UN Security Council had issued a statement last week condemning the Pulwama terror attack.