China: No consensus in UNSC to list Masood Azhar as terrorist
New Delhi: China on Monday said that there was no agreement among UN Security Council members on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a terrorist.
In August, China extended by three months a block it had put on the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist after obstructing the move in February. The block is due to expire on Thursday.
“We have made our position clear many times,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing. “As for listing application... there are disagreements,” Hua said, adding that China had put a technical hold to allow for more time for more parties to deliberate on this matter. In the past two years, China has scuttled efforts by India and later by the US, UK and France to declare Azhar a global terrorist, stating that there was no consensus on the issue. Last year in March, China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application, with the 14 other members of the council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1,267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Azhar is accused of several terrorist attacks in India, including the one on the Pathankot air force station in January 2016.
Hua justified the Chinese action as aimed at protecting the authority and efficacy of the UN Sanctions’ Committee.
“It is in accordance with the resolutions and rules of procedure of the Committee. We will remain in constant touch and coordination with the relevant parties on the resolution and rules of procedure of the Committee,” Hua said.
When asked if China is resorting to block the move repeatedly at the behest of Pakistan, Hua said: “We believe that the Committee should follow the principles of objectivity, professionalism and fairness and reach decision by a consensus based on solid proof.”
“China’s technical holds are meant to allow for more time for more parties to deliberate on this matter,” Hua said adding: “To our regret, the Committee is yet to reach a consensus.” Hua also defended Pakistan’s track record on terrorism, saying that Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism and that China supports Islamabad in countering terrorism in accordance with its own national conditions.
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