China on Saturday said its technical hold on India’s move to get Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations has “been extended”, days before the expiry of the hold.
The Chinese technical hold was set to lapse on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist could stand passed automatically. The hold has been extended for another six months.
“The technical hold on India’s listing application submitted to the 1267 committee in March, 2016 has already been extended,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI here.
“There are still different views on India’s listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” Geng said.
On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader and Pathankot attack mastermind under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.
China was the only 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.
Geng said the 1267 Committee of the UNSC “organises its work as mandated by relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
“China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council,” he said in a written reply to a question.
Following the decision, the hold now has been extended in the midst of India-Pakistan tension over the Uri terrorist attack, which was blamed on the JeM group.
China’s technical hold coupled with its move to block India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cast a shadow on the Sino-India ties. Both the countries have held several rounds of talks on the issues in recent months.