NEW DELHI: Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on Sunday said the issue of the United Nations listing Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist—blocked by China so far—would be resolved soon, raising speculation that the two countries could be working on a compromise formula on the matter.
Such a move would help bolster ties between the two neighbours that is slowly returning to normal after a tense 73-day military standoff in 2017. China preventing the listing of Azhar, seemingly at the instance of Pakistan, has been a key irritant in India-China ties.
“This matter (the UN listing Masood Azhar as a terrorist) will be resolved. This is only a technical hold, which means there is time for continued consultations. It will be resolved, believe me," Zhaohui told ANI on Sunday.
The proposal to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist under UN norms was brought following the 14 February suicide bomb attack on an Indian paramilitary security convoy in Pulwama in Kashmir that killed 40 security personnel. The suicide bomber in a video had claimed allegiance to Azhar’s group—the JeM— based in Pakistan. The proposal was put on technical hold by China on Wednesday though it was co-sponsored by France, the US and the UK.
This was the fourth time since 2016 that China has prevented a listing of Masood Azhar.