Ahead of expiry of the Chinese “hold” against designating Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist by the UN, India on Thursday said the “ball is in the court” of sanctions committee and expressed hope that it will eventually see the “logic”.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that India’s application seeking sanctions against Azhar was submitted in March and was before the UN’s sanctions committee which has 15 members, who are also in security council.
“Ball is in their (Committee’s) court. We remain hopeful that eventually logic of Masood Azhar (not) remaining outside the ambit of the committee when the organisation which he represents has been proscribed for many years would be seen,” he said.
China had in October extended its “technical hold” on India’s move to get Azhar banned by the UN. The current extension will expire on December 31 and if China does not raise further objection, the resolution designating Azhar a terrorist could stand passed automatically.
Swarup also said the recent visit of foreign secretary Jaishankar to the US was only in the context of raising UN-related issues with the secretary general-designate Antonio Guterres and he did not interact with any member of the Trump administration. In the past, he has had some interactions with a few senior members of the Administration, he added.
On increasing cooperation between Pakistan and Russia, Swarup said, “We do not comment on relationship between third countries. Our own relationship with Russia is a special and privileged partnership which has been reinforced by the recent visit of President Putin to Goa in October 2016. We do not see any downward trend in our bilateral relationship...
“However, in so far as the Taliban is concerned, they have to respect the internationally agreed red lines, give up terrorism and violence, sever all ties with al Qaeda, agree to follow democratic norms and not do anything which will erode the gains of the last 15 years. Ultimately it is for the government of Afghanistan to decide whom to talk to and how.”
On the situation in Syria, the spokesperson said India will welcome any reduction in violence and cessation of hostilities. He also stressed on an inclusive Syrian-led political dialogue, saying there can be no military solution to the conflict.
“Protection of civilians should be priority number one. We have always stood for Syria’s territorial integrity. At the same time, selective approaches to dealing with terrorist groups have had negative effect as has been proved around the world,” Swarup said.
When asked about the appointment of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the new US secretary of state, Swarup said,”We have seen the reports about his appointment by US President- elect Donald Trump. We will continue to closely follow the developments leading towards firming up of his team.”