Pressure on China as it defends blocking Azhar terror listing
Washington: China on Thursday defended its fourth "technical hold" on the designation of Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the move would give it time for a "thorough and in-depth assessment" of the case and help the parties concerned to engage in more talks to find a "lasting solution" acceptable to all.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.
The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. Just before the deadline ended, China put a "technical hold" on the proposal seeking "more time to examine" it.
The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
Asked why China once again resorted to blocking the move, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing here that Beijing's decision is in line with the rules of the committee.
"Only a solution that is acceptable to all sides could fundamentally provide a chance for a lasting solution to the issue. China is ready to communicate and coordinate with all sides including India to properly handle this issue," he said.
The Security Council 1267 Committee has clear standards on the procedures of designating terrorist organisations and individuals, Lu said.
"China conducts a thorough and in-depth assessment of these applications and we still need more time, so that is why we put forward the technical hold," he said.
India Wednesday expressed disappointment soon after China put a technical hold on designating Azhar.
The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice.
Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, responsible UNSC members warned they "may be forced to pursue other actions" at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy.
The senior diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the frustration of the other members of the Security Council after China on Wednesday put a technical hold on the proposal.