Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Opinion I Pak dictating China's decision on United Nations sanctions on Masood Azhar?

Opinion I Pak dictating China's decision on United Nations sanctions on Masood Azhar?

In a setback for India, China once again placed a technical hold on a proposal in the UN Security Council to ban terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar late Wednesday. The deadline for any country to seek clarification - the United Nations jargon for raising an objection - was 3 PM New York time Wednesday, which is 12.30 AM IST on Thursday.

Pressuring Pakistan to deliver on its counter-terrorism commitments and the move to designate Azhar a global terrorist figured in foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale's meeting with USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

ANI reported about India's ministry of external affairs response that stated, "We are disappointed by this outcome". This has prevented action by the global community to designate the leader of JeM. The statement is seen as a hint of yet another veto by China at the UNSC. China has blocked such a move thrice since 2009.

The resolution on Masood Azhar was moved by three permanent members of Security Council - the US, France and the United Kingdom - after the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama in which 40 soldiers died. Until now, all the P-3 countries- US, UK and France have co-sponsored the proposal except for China.

Asked to clarify whether the issue has been listed for discussion for March 13 and China is in talks with all the parties concerned, Lu said, "First I want to clarify that I don't recall saying anything about the deadline about the UNSC committee and other United Nations subsidiary bodies".

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On the eve of the crucial decision by the UN Security Council, the Trump Administration on Tuesday made it clear that there is enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist. China will continue to communicate and work with relevant parties in a responsible manner so as to properly resolve this matter.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys have preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to member countries of the UNSC. The unwavering Chinese stand in Pakistan's favour comes in the backdrop of U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs David Hale and India's foreign secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale holding foreign office consultations on Tuesday.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including those from the five permanent UNSC members - the US, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France - to highlight Islamabad's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Pakistan responded a day later with fighter jets crossing into India-administered Kashmir.

Bolton said Qureshi assured him that Pakistan would deal firmly with all terrorists and will continue steps to deescalate tensions with India.

The diplomat also accused Pakistan for depending on China to protect terrorist groups and leaders that operate from its soil.

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