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China blocking move to sanction Masood Azhar won’t affect resolve to fight terror: India

China on Thursday had for the fourth time blocked the bid to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2017 23:32 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan’s militant Jaish-e-Mohammad party, attends a pro-Taliban conference organised by the Afghan Defence Council in Islamabad August 26, 2001.(File Photo)

After China yet again blocked the designation of Jeish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar under UN Sanctions committee, India plans to discuss more names of Pakistan-based militants, including Sajid Mir, a key plotter of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, with other countries to bring them in the list.

India also looks at expanding the dialogue on the designation issue with other major countries after first of its kind of meeting with the US in December and explore what else could be done at the UN on the issue of cross-border terrorism, officials familiar with the development said.

“In the 15-member committee, we have got the support of all but one in Mazood Azhar case. Except China, everyone else recognises the gravity of what we are saying and doing on counter-terrorism front. The efforts at UN — designation of terrorists and other steps that highlight our concern on terrorism — will be stepped up,” said an official.

Individuals and entities listed under the 1267 committee face asset freeze, travel ban, and other measures that would cripple their ability to carry out terrorist strikes. “I think the decision by a country to block a consensus should not be seen as an end to our counter-terrorism efforts. It will not impact our resolve to fight terror,” Ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly media briefing. Sajid Mir is among those who India would try for a consensus on the listing under the UN committee.

The Lashkar operative’s reconnaissance mission here enabled 26/11 terrorist attack, which killed 188 people, and details about him in the operation had come up during the interrogation of Pakistani-American jihadist David Headley by the US authorities as well. “We have many names, who should be designated. But we will zero in on a specific list after we talk to our partners,” an official said.

However, the experts seem to be divided on the issue if these efforts will bring veto-wielding China to support India on designating Pakistan based militants. “These efforts to my mind seem to be propagandist and not enough to break the support Pakistan enjoys from China,” said MK Bhadrakumar, a former career diplomat and commentator who once headed the Pakistan desk at the external affairs.

But former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh said the measures India have planned would bolster its efforts at “building an international consensus on cross border terrorism from Pakistan” and consistent focus on terrorism, which are “backed by most countries could help even in China taking a re-look at the issue.” “To me Indian efforts also look at India bringing a resolution at the UN General Assembly against cross-border terrorism from Pakistan”, he said.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 18:17 IST