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On its new stand on global terror tag for Masood Azhar, China makes 3 points

The renewed focus on blacklisting comes against the backdrop of the Pulwama suicide bombing in February that killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

world Updated: Apr 30, 2019 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Masood Azhar,terror tag for Masood Azhar,China
A day before the UN sanctions committee is to decide on a global terrorist tag for Masood Azhar, China on Tuesday signalled a sharp change in its stand on blacklisting the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief.(AFP File Photo)

A day before the UN sanctions committee is to decide on a global terrorist tag for Masood Azhar, China on Tuesday signalled a sharp change in its stand on blacklisting the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief. Beijing, which has blocked four attempts by the United Nations Security Council over the last decade, on Tuesday spoke about the “positive progress” that had been made.

“This problem can be properly solved,” the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said to a question on media reports that Beijing was finally ready to lift its technical hold on blacklisting the Jaish terror group founder.

Hindustan Times had first reported on Monday that China is likely to go along with the terrorist tag for Masood Azhar. In the past, Beijing has cited both lack of evidence and consensus on why it had stood in the way.

The renewed focus on blacklisting comes against the backdrop of the Pulwama suicide bombing in February that killed 40 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

Read | ‘Positive progress made’: China on global terrorist tag for Masood Azhar

At its media briefing on Tuesday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson made three points.

One, that China supports the issue of listing which Beijing said, should be through political consultation within the framework of the world body’s sanctions committee.

“I think that is also the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the members of the Council,” the official said, pointing that “relevant consultations” were underway in the sanctions committee.

“Within the framework. And positive progress has been mad,” the foreign ministry said.

“Thirdly, we believe in the joint efforts of all parties. This problem can be properly solved,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read | Masood Azhar: Inside the mind of a global terror merchant

The statement and its language are seen as a contrast to its previous ones. Before China had last blocked the move, it had underlined that it would adopt “a responsible attitude act responsibly and continue to participate in discussions”.

The development infuriated the US and its allies, which circulated a draft resolution on listing Azhar among the UN Security Council’s members to force China’s hand.

In backroom negotiations, China conditioned its support to blacklist Azhar on India carrying out a military de-escalation on the border and resuming bilateral dialogue with Islamabad on all outstanding issues including Kashmir.

Azhar was released on December 31, 1999, in a hostage swap at Kandahar airport after an Indian airliner was hijacked by Pakistani terrorists. He has been accused of masterminding some of the most heinous terror attacks in India. Before Pulwama, the JeM was responsible for the 2016 attack on Pathankot airbase, the 2001 attack on Parliament, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly attack the same year, and a series of assaults against security forces in Kashmir.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 19:50 IST