China on Tuesday decided to release the technical holding for the identification of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar. This means that the Chinese government will move a proposal against Masood Azhar to the United Nations to take action under United Nations Anti-Terrorism Sanctions Committee, 1267 and he will be blacklisted as an international terrorist.
Sources explained to Financial Express Online that once the Chinese propose that action be taken against Masood Azhar, Pakistan has to arrest him.
After heavy pressure, China has decided to stop the technical blockade of the proposal to put terrorist Masood Azhar in a restricted list in the United Nations. The Chinese Foreign office spokesperson emphasised that first his country supports the issue of listing, which should be resolved through political consultation within the framework of the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Sanctions Committee, 1267. Adding that there consensus of overwhelming majority of the members of the UNSC.
The Chinese spokesperson pointed out that presently the relevant consultations are under way in the United Nations Anti-Terrorism Sanctions Committee, 1267, and positive progress has been made. “We believe in the joint efforts of all parties. This problem can be solved.”
While the UNSC members have been talking to China separately, India has directly engaged with its neighbour. Last week foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was in Beijing for a two-day visit and had meetings with Foreign Minister Wang E in addition to his Chinese counterpart Foreign Minister in Chinese Foreign Ministry. During talks the focus was on issues of mutual and international issues. And also there were discussions related to Masood Azhar to be named as international terrorist.
There have been several rounds of negotiations between US, China and Pakistan’s top officials of Foreign Ministry. The common thread in the discussions was that Masood Azhar has to be named as an international terrorist. Russia too has been having discussions with China urging it to lift the technical hold as a goodwill gesture to India.
While China was in discussion with members of the UNSC, in the wake of a technical ban against Masood Azhar by China for the last almost a decade the US, the UK and France had decided to bring another proposal in the Security Council to debate on the issue of Masood Azhar. Once it was clear that China was perhaps willing to relent, it pressured Pakistan to accept the action of the ban against Azhar.
It may be recalled that China has resisted action against Masood Azhar on four occasions since 2009, on the basis of technical grounds, thus helping Pakistan in preventing him from being declared an international terrorist.
Post Pulwama attack earlier this year, France moved a resolution in the United Nations 1267 Sanctions Committee, to list Masood Azhar as a terrorist. This proposal was supported by the US and the UK. Russia had also supported the move besides all other 10 non-permanent members of the council. However, China, one of the five members with a veto, put a technical hold on the proposal. This was followed by a proposal by the US in the UN seeking to ban Azhar, who is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” carried out by JeM, according to an annexure to the US draft.