As China blocks Masood Azhar terror designation, US says won’t give up

Last week, China blocked a proposal by the US to name Azhar a UN-designated terrorist.
File photo of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.(Reuters)
File photo of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.(Reuters)
Updated on Nov 08, 2017 10:37 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Washington | ByYashwant Raj, Washington

If India will not give up trying to push the UN to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a terrorist, neither will the United States, which has said it will continue to work for the designation and urge others to pursue it as well.

It was a proposal by the US, backed by France and Britain, to name Azhar a UN-designated terrorist that China blocked last week in a cynical show of solidarity with Pakistan, its “iron brother” ally. Beijing cited lack of consensus caused by its own refusal to support the move.

“We would support efforts to list Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s founder and leader, on the 1267 Sanctions List and would encourage others to support his listing as well,” a US state department spokesperson told Hindustan Times on background.

The spokesperson refused to comment on China blocking the US proposal, saying, “Committee discussions over whether to add an individual or entity to the…sanctions list are confidential to the committee.  As a result, we do not comment on internal committee deliberations.”

The spokesperson added, “I would therefore refer you to the Chinese government to explain their position.”

Here is what the Chinese said in Beijing about their decision: “As for listing the application by the relevant country, there are disagreements. China raised the technical hold so as to allow for more time for all parties to deliberate on this matter. To our regret the committee so far has yet to reach a consensus.”

The committee referred to by the US and China was created by the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant — or Islamic State, as it is known in India — and Da’esh, as it is also known as) and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

It comprises 15 member nations who must all vote unanimously to approve any proposal to expand or shrink the sanctioned list that has 256 individuals and 80 entities. Even one no-vote from any member is sufficient to deny a decision. Worse, deliberations of the committee remain undisclosed.

China has been the sole dissenter to the two proposals moved thus far for Azhar’s designation. First by India, in February 2016, which was backed by the US, France, Britain and the rest of the committee, excluding China. The second proposal was from the US in the dying days of the Obama administration in January this year.

It had seemed like a done deal for the US. As the state department spokesperson said, “Masood Azhar is listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under US Executive Order 13224 in 2010, and Jaish-e Mohammed was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) by the US in 2001.

“Masood Azhar founded the terrorist organisation Jaish-e Mohammed, which has proven its willingness and ability to execute attacks against innocent civilians, and is listed under the UNSC 1267 ISIL and al-Qaeda sanctions regime.”

Designating Azhar, a known terrorist with a history of ordering the death of scores of innocent people, was a no-brainer, but China has turned it into a test of its own conviction and resolve to combat newly emergent home-grown terrorism and those fostered by its ally Pakistan. 

JeM has already been proscribed by the UN committee, so why protect its founder? UN designation will enjoin member countries to, one, not deny him funds, other resources and arms, and not allow him to enter or leave their territory.

This shouldn’t have been  a problem for Pakistan, eager as it is  to scrub its image. Politically, it has turned into a battle between India and the US and other nations struggling with terrorism such as Britain and France on one side, and China and Pakistan, an active  abettor and supporter of terrorism, on the other.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

    Ukraine war: Russia agrees to evacuate wounded soldiers from Azovstal plant

    Russia on Monday said there was an agreement to evacuate wounded Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. "An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded," news agency Reuters quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying in a statement. Russia attacked the port city of Mariupol – which it now claims to controls – for nearly two months.

  • Most deaths in the United States happened in urban areas, but rural places — where opposition to masks and vaccinations tends to run high — paid a heavy price at times.

    US deaths from Covid hit 1 million, less than 2 ½ years into the pandemic

    The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.

  • Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, right, and the Moderate Party's leader Ulf Kristersson give a news conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday, May 16, 2022. 

    Sweden to apply for NATO membership

    Sweden's Social Democrat minority government on Monday took the formal decision to apply for NATO membership, following in the footsteps of its neighbour Finland in a move that will redraw the geopolitical map of northern Europe. "There is a broad majority in Sweden's parliament for joining NATO," Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said following a debate on security policy in parliament. "The best thing for Sweden and the Swedish population is to join NATO."

  • People wait in a queue to buy petrol at a closed fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. 

    Sri Lanka out of petrol, economy in a precarious condition: PM Wickremesinghe

    Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said the island nation's economy was in a precarious condition and that the cash-strapped nation was currently out of petrol. He also proposed privatising the Sri Lanka airlines. “At present, the Sri Lankan economy is extremely precarious. Although the former government's budget projected revenue of SLR 2.3 trillion, SLR 1.6 trillion is the realistic projection of this year's revenue,” the PM said in Colombo.

  • Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov. (Photo by MAXIM SHEMETOV/POOL/AFP)

    ‘Won’t simply put up with…': Russia’s warning amid NATO’s Nordic expansion

    According to an AFP report, Swedish public support for NATO membership has risen to nearly 50 per cent in the aftermath of the Ukraine war. The situation is the same in Finland, with the AFP report revealing that the number of Finns who want to join NATO has climbed to more than three-quarters - almost triple the level before the Ukraine war.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 16, 2022