New Delhi: India is consulting key members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) ahead of possibly bringing in a new resolution to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the UN.
Two people familiar with the development said India was “examining all options" and consulting co-sponsors—the US, UK and France—of the resolution that was first introduced at the UNSC’s 1,267 committee which sanctioned individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in March last year.
Including the name of Azhar, whose Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group is blamed in India for a series of attacks ranging from the 13 December 2001 attack on India’s parliament to the 2 January 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase, in the UN blacklist will mean his travel will be restricted and assets frozen.
The Jaish-e-Mohammed has already been blacklisted by the UN Security Council. But Maulana Masood Azhar is not and China’s blocking of India’s move is seen as a gesture of support for its long-time ally Pakistan.
In December, China had put a block, which amounts to a veto, on India’s efforts to get Azhar on the UN-designated list of terrorists. This necessitates the introduction of a fresh resolution by India.
This came on the back of Beijing putting a technical hold twice, once in March and the again in September, on India’s attempts to ensure Azhar’s inclusion in the UN terrorists’ list. The technical hold meant China’s objections were temporary and could be overcome if it was satisfied by the provision of evidence by India. Technical holds can also be lifted and often arise when a Security Council member wants more information. Sometimes though a technical hold could result in the permanent blocking of a proposed blacklisting.
But with the block in place, one of the two people cited above said that India was looking at options including the tabling of a new resolution.