India sanguine about UN sanctions against Masood
India on Thursday hoped there would be “greater understanding” in the UN Sanctions Committee on the need to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, following the Pathankot strike, days after it moved the panel for a second time with the request as the first attempt was scuttled by China.
Noting that India formally approached the UN on February 26 to include Azhar, also the Pathankot terror attack mastermind, in the Security Council’s sanctions list, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said currently the request was being considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for technical aspects.
The CTED will take 15-30 days to complete the process before India’s submission is taken up by the 15-member 1267 Sanctions Committee, he said.
“We hope that following the Pathankot terror attack, there would be greater understanding of the need to proscribe the activities of Masood Azhar who is the leader of the banned organisation JeM. We do hope that once the CTED clears this, the 15-member 1267 Sanctions Committee would take a forward look on our submission request and will agree that Azhar does deserve to be sanctioned by the Committee,” the spokesperson said.
After India made a fresh submission of 11 individuals and one organisation linked to terrorism in the country to the Committee on February 18, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin wrote to Gerard Jacoubus Van Bohemen, the Chair of the panel, on February 26 submitting country's request that the JeM chief's name be included in the sanctions list.
The submission was armed with strong evidence of the outfit's terror activities and its role in the January 2 Pathankot attack that killed seven Indian soldiers. India also told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar would expose it and other countries in South Asia to threats from the terror group and its leader.
Calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, India said it is the responsibility of the panel to protect UN member nations and their citizens from terror groups like the JeM and its leaders.
India also noted that following the Pathankot attack, Pakistan had taken action against some individuals belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The UN had banned JeM in 2001 but India's efforts to get Azhar on the sanctions list after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack did not fructify as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN with veto powers, blocked the move, apparently at the behest of Pakistan.