Protesting formally against China’s move to block ban a UN ban on Pathankot attack mastermind and Jaish-e-Muhammed leader Masood Azhar, India has issued a demarche (diplomatic missive) to show its stand.
Piling up more pressure on Pakistan, US along with UK and France have also moved the UN for designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
But the move ran into trouble when China showed its opposition. China has put a “hold” on the US-initiated proposal, which comes barely weeks after India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN were scuttled by Beijing last December.
This had prompted India to take up the matter with the Chinese government.
The proposal, which was finalised after “consultations” between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said. It was submitted just a day before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, according to officials.
“However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal,” a source said, adding the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.
Asked about India’s reaction, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We have been informed of this development and the matter has been taken up with the Chinese government.” However, he did not elaborate when and where the issue was taken up with China.
The “hold” remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a “block”, thereby, ending the life of the proposal.
UN Sanction Committee’s listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.
China has been constantly opposing efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN, which has proscribed his outfit JeM in 2001. The Chinese opposition is also seen by many here as an action taken at the behest of its “all-weather ally” Pakistan.