India on Thursday reacted sharply to the UN extension of the “technical hold” on banning JeM chief Masood Azhar, saying the global body will be sending a “dangerous message” if it fails to act upon India’s demand for his designation as a global terrorist.
Without naming China, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said only one country had put the technical hold, blocking the ban by another three months, and criticised the complete “non-transparent and anonymous” manner of designating individuals by the UN Sanctions Committee.
Noting that the UN Sanctions Committee has already proscribed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, he said the panel, however, ignored the need to take action against the organisation’s main leader, financier and motivator who continues his terrorist actions unhindered.
Responding to the extension of the hold, he said,”The Committee has already pondered (over) our submission for the last six months. It will get a further three months to ponder, but that will in no way change the strange situation we have of the Committee designating the terror organisation but failing to or ignoring the need to designate the organisation’s most active and dangerous terrorist.
“We conveyed to the Committee that it is expected to proscribe Azhar under the 1267 Sanction Regime on the basis of our submission. Such a designation would help send a strong signal to all terror groups across the world that the international community is no longer going to pursue, or tolerate, selective approaches to terrorism.
“Distinction between good and bad terrorists is fallacious and counterproductive. Concomitantly, it will also be sending a dangerous message if it fails to act upon India’s Submission.”
He noted that the issue was also being taken up with the Chinese Government.
He also emphasised that India would welcome any move which enables functioning of the UN Committee in a “manner where political considerations do not hold hostage the designation of known terrorists” and change the rule of “complete non-transparency and anonymity” of this process.
On March 31 this year, China - a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council - had blocked India’s move to put a ban on Azhar under the al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.
China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with the rest 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.
The Chinese technical hold had lapsed on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist would have been passed automatically. Beijing had on Saturday announced the extension of its “technical hold”.