China Stalls India-US Bid To List JeM Leader In UNSC

| Updated: 11 August, 2022 4:23 pm IST
JeM chief Masood Azhar and his younger brother Abdul Asghar Rauf (file photos)

NEW DELHI: To add to already strained India-China ties, Beijing on Thursday thwarted a joint effort of New Delhi and Washington to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) deputy chief Rauf Asghar as a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) designated terrorist. If passed, the designation would have subjected Asghar to a global travel ban and asset freeze.

China put a “technical hold” on the proposal moved by India and co-sponsored by the United States to designate Asghar in the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee, sources told The New Indian.  All other 14 member states of the UNSC were supportive of the listing proposal, the sources said.

Asghar, the younger brother of JeM founder Masood Azhar, is accused of planning and executing numerous terror attacks into India including the hijacking of Indian aircraft IC814 in 1999, the attack on the parliament in 2001 and on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot in 2016. Masood Azhar was  also the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks alongwith Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed.

In March 2019, Asghar was detained by authorities in Pakistan on terror financing charges. It is, however, not clear if he is still in jail or has been freed.

This is not the first time that China has obstructed the listing of terrorists in the 1267 Sanctions Committee.

In June this year, Beijing placed on hold a joint proposal by India and the US to list the deputy chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) Abdul Rehman Makki, in the sanctions list. Makki has been involved in raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youths to resort to violence and planning attacks in India, including the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. Masood Azhar was the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.

“There is incontrovertible evidence for both these listing proposals. Both individuals have also been sanctioned by the US under its domestic legislation,” said one of the sources. “China’s actions expose its double speak and double standards when it comes to the international community’s shared battle against terrorism.”

The source further said, “Such politically motivated actions by China, in nearly every listing case of a Pakistan-based terrorist, undermine the entire sanctity of the working methods of the UNSC Sanctions Committees.”

On its part, China’s mission to the United Nations reportedly said that it needed more time to “study the case”.

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