Millennium Post

China’s hold on Azhar’s UN terror listing to lapse soon

The six-month validity of the technical hold imposed by China on India’s bid to get Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN will “lapse” soon and the Pathankot attack mastermind could be sanctioned, if Beijing does not block the move again.

On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member at the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the JeM chief under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.

China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application, with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.

Sources have said that the six-month validity of the technical hold is set to “lapse” in about a week or10 days time and unless China again seeks to block or veto the resolution on some pretext, the resolution could stand passed automatically, designating Azhar as a terrorist.

The other 14 UNSC members have already supported India’s bid and the lapse of the technical hold, coupled with no further objection from China, will essentially mean that there is no opposition to the demand to get Azhar listed under the sanctions committee.

Sources said in the current environment of “growing global crescendo against terrorism”, “can China still stand up alone” and block the designation of an individual who heads an organisation that was listed as a terrorist group by the UN in 2001”.

They said a possibility could be that after the lapse of the technical hold, China could seek more time on Azhar’s application, in effect allowing the technical hold to continue.

However, China could be questioned by other UNSC members on such an extension, sources said.
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