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China finally blinks, JeM chief Masood now global terrorist

United Nations: In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him.

"Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support," India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin tweeted.

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

China removed its hold on the proposal, which was moved by France, UK and the US in the Security Council's 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February just days after the deadly Pulwama terror attack carried out by the Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China was the sole hold-out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar, blocking attempts by placing a "technical hold" and asking for "more time to examine" the proposal.

When asked whether China has lifted the hold, Akbaruddin said that "yes, done."

The sanctions committee makes its decisions by consensus of its Members. In recent days, there had been indications that China is likely to come around and will lift its hold on the Azhar proposal. Beijing had said on Tuesday that the vexed issue of designating Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN would be "properly resolved."

Beijing put the hold on the proposal on March 13, derailing yet another attempt to blacklist the JeM chief. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last ten years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

Keeping up the international pressure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the US, supported by France and the UK, moved a draft resolution directly in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror organization's head.

Beijing lifting its hold is a massive diplomatic win for India, which had relentlessly pursued the matter with its international allies. There had been sustained international pressure on China, particularly from the US, to remove its objection to Azhar's listing.

Hectic discussions between New Delhi, Washington, New York and Beijing had ensued after the March 13 hold by Beijing as it was clear that India would not blink.

PM Narendra Modi Wednesday said the UN decision is a big success for India's efforts to root out terrorism and proved that the country's voice can no longer be ignored on the global stage.

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