The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district “played a role” in getting Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist by the United Nations. The Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force.
“Given the number of terrorist acts committed by Masood Azhar, it [the listing] is not supposed to be a bio-data of all his terrorist acts,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a press conference. “For us, what is important is that he has been designated as a terrorist. And I can tell you that the terror attack in Pulwama did play a role in coming to this decision.”
The 1267 Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday designated Azhar a global terrorist after China, a close ally of Pakistan, withdrew its opposition to the proposal. Beijing said it lifted its veto after studying “revised material” submitted by relevant countries to the sanctions committee.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had claimed that the listing was agreed upon after “all political references were removed, including attempts to link it with Pulwama [attack]”. However, Islamabad said it will immediately impose sanctions on Azhar.
Kumar said it is difficult to share the background information on how the negotiations for Azhar’s listing were conducted. “There are certain things which should be left to us,” he added.
Kumar said that Pakistan and all other countries will now have to freeze the funds and all financial assets belonging to Azhar. He added that a travel ban will be imposed on Azhar, and an arms embargo will be placed to prevent supply of arms to the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief.
The spokesperson said that India had shared all evidence against Azhar with the members of the UN Sanctions Committee, so that they could take an informed decision on the designation of the Jaish chief as a global terrorist.
Kumar said China’s decision to lift the hold on designating Azhar as a terrorist will contribute to better relations between New Delhi and Beijing.