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India blocks dilution of anti-terror mechanism

world Updated: Jun 18, 2011 02:04 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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India has successfully blocked a Europe-led move to dilute a UN counterterrorism mechanism that would have allowed the likes of underworld boss Dawood Ibrahim and Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to operate freely.

Some European nations want to amend the UN Security Council resolution 1267 — which created the al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee in 1999 — to make delisting of individuals and entities easier and more convenient.

To that end, they want the committee to split the listing: the Taliban individuals and entities on one list and the other for al Qaeda. The US and Afghanistan are keen on the separation too in view of the ongoing reconciliation efforts. The resolution making that possible is slated for passage late Friday.

“India has been most active in ensuring resolution’s counterterrorism provision were not diluted,” said India deputy permanent representative at the UN Manjeev Singh Puri.

A substantial number of entities and individuals on the 1267 consolidated list were those operating against India such as Dawood Ibrahim, Lakhvi, LeT and its founder Hafiz Sayeed and Harkat ul-Jihad Islami.

All UN members states are expected to enforce sanctions against the listed entities.

India doesn’t have a problem with splitting the list, but had some related issues. For one, there was a proposal to make the delisting of individuals and entities time bound — three years or even more.

Second, the Ombudsman could trigger the delisting. Three, where would you list overlapping individuals and entities, such as the Haqqani group?

India was able to argue forcefully against the first two, and prevented them from being included in the resolution.

“Why should entities or individuals be allowed to be listed in a time-bound fashion,” asked an Indian diplomat, refusing to be identified. “Do they cease terrorism-related activities after three or years or more?”