UN ban on Masood Azhar could figure in India, US foreign secretaries talks

The Azhar designation proposal and a whole host of Pulwama-related issues are expected to dominate Gokhale’s discussions now given the context. Also on the table for discussion will be a whole host of other international issues, such as Syria.
The upcoming UN Security Council’s decision on the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a global terrorist could come up in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Monday.(AFP)
The upcoming UN Security Council’s decision on the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a global terrorist could come up in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Monday.(AFP)
Updated on Mar 11, 2019 10:09 AM IST
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Washington | ByYashwant Raj

The upcoming UN Security Council’s decision on the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a global terrorist could come up in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s meeting with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Monday to kick off an otherwise routine visit for diplomatic consultations.

The Pulwama terrorist attack is expected to loom large over Gokhale’s visit, which was in the pipeline from much before a suicide bomber from Pakistan-based Jaish killed 40 CRPF personnel in February, triggering a “counter-terrorism action” by India on the group’s camp in Pakistan.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to take a decision by Wednesday, March 13, on a France-led proposal, backed by the United States and the United Kingdom, to put Azhar on a list of designated international terrorists that member countries of the world body are required to throw out and deny shelter, funds and arms.

The Azhar designation proposal and a whole host of Pulwama-related issues are expected to dominate Gokhale’s discussions now given the context. Also on the table for discussion will be a whole host of other international issues, such as Syria.

The foreign secretary will meet his US counterparts under secretary of state for political affairs David Hale and under secretary of state for arms control and international security Andrea Thompson later during his visit, according to officials.

“These are regular high-level dialogue mechanisms to review bilateral relations, exchange views on major foreign policy and security-related developments and coordinate respective positions on issues of common interest,” said one of them.

The three P-5 countries — the US and the UK led by France — last week launched a fourth attempt to sanction Azhar. China, which blocked the last attempts, holds the key and it has been non-committal so far. A decision is likely next week.

People familiar with discussions said that China might put a technical hold on the proposal for now, as it has before, to meet the 10-day proposed deadline to determine the fate of a proposal, and vote later — “when the heat is off” — for Azhar to be designated.

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Sunday, December 05, 2021