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India will continue efforts to bring terror groups to justice

India will continue efforts to bring terror groups to justice

New Delhi: India Wednesday welcomed the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, nearly a decade after it first pushed for banning the Pakistan-based terrorist by the world body.

In its reaction, the External Affairs Ministry said Azhar's designation as a UN proscribed terrorist is a step in the right direction and that India will continue its efforts to bring terror groups and their leaders to justice.

In a huge diplomatic victory for India, the UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated Azhar as global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to ban him.

"The 1267 Sanctions Committee's decision to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Masood Azhar, as a UN proscribed terrorist is a step in the right direction to demonstrate the international community's resolve to fight against terrorism and its enablers. We welcome the decision," MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

France, the UK and the US had moved a fresh proposal to declare Azhar as global terrorist by the UN in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in February in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, China put a technical hold on the proposal, blocking it for fourth time to designate Azhar. The Chinese move was termed "disappointing" by India. On Wednesday, China lifted its hold from the proposal.

"This is in accordance with India's position and in line with the information that India has shared with the members of the Sanctions Committee regarding terrorist

activities of Masood Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammed," Kumar said.

"India will continue with its efforts through international forums to ensure that terrorist organisations and their leaders who cause harm to our citizens are brought to justice," he added.

In 2009, India first moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar. In 2016 again, India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the sanctions committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

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