India has shared with China evidence of the terrorist activities of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar, the Ministry of External Affairs said as Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing on Monday. Gokhale met top Chinese diplomats, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his visit, IANS reported.
“It is now for the 1267 al Qaeda Sanctions Committee [of the UN Security Council] and other authorised bodies of the UN to take a decision on listing of Masood Azhar [as international terrorist],” PTI quoted ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar as saying.
A global terrorist designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. The Jaish-e-Mohammad carried out the deadly attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in February, killing 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.
China has regularly obstructed India’s move, which is supported by countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and France, at the UN Security Council to enlist Azhar as an international terrorist. The proposal to blacklist Azhar was moved by the three Western countries two weeks after the Pulwama bombing. China blocked it by putting a “technical hold” on the application. It defended its move saying it was only following procedure and needed more time to review the proposal.
Earlier this month, Beijing said it had made “positive progress” on the matter and added that the “US knows it very well”. Last week, China said it was unaware of reports that the US, the UK and France have served it an April 23 deadline to lift the technical hold.
According to the Chinese foreign ministry said its actions do not amount to protecting violent Islamic groups from sanctions – an allegation levelled by the United States. China had previously prevented the Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.