With the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) designating Pakistan-based terrorist and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist on Wednesday, the discourse of the election campaign in the Pulwama segment of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat has taken a new turn. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah has described it a “symbolic win” only, saying the UNSC did not link Azhar’s name with the deadly suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in which more than 40 jawans were killed. The BJP, on the other hand, is claiming it a major victory.

Congress has expressed disappointment that Azhar’s listing does not mention his role in the Pulwama terror attack and also at other places in Jammu and Kashmir even though the JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack. BJP’s election campaign throughout the country has so far revolved around the twin issues of terrorism and national security, which became big issues post-Pulwama.

As soon as the news of Azhar Masood being declared a global terrorist by the UNSC broke, Omar Abdullah tweeted: “No mention of terror in Kashmir & no mention of Pulwama. It’s amazing how quickly the sacrifices of the CRPF men were sold down the river to get a symbolic win.

Is this true that the listing of #MasoodAzhar as a global terrorist was only possible because all references to Pulwama & terrorism in Kashmir were dropped?”

“The Chinese diplomats must be a happy bunch today. Their wordplay has allowed both India & Pakistan to claim a diplomatic victory. That’s no small achievement,” Omar added.

He further said: “The rest of the opposition must be wondering if it will ever catch a break. Every time the BJP campaign seems to be flagging it gets a shot in the arm. The #MasoodAzhar development in the UN today couldn’t have come at a better time for the Modi ji’s re-election campaign.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the development, in the middle of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, by tweeting; “Today is a day that would make every Indian proud! I thank the global community and all those who believe in humanitarian values for their support. India’s fight against terror will continue. We will work towards peace and brotherhood in our planet.”

On the other hand, Pakistan has claimed the UNSC resolution on Azhar Masood as a “huge victory of Pakistan’s diplomacy”. A Pakistani minister, Chaudhary Fawad Hussain, in his tweet described it as “Huge victory for Pak Diplomacy at the UN…as superpowers recognise #Kashmirstruggle —paradigm shift in their stance on this basic conflict shows post #Pulwama India suffered irreparable loss of reputation in the world arena. Kudos to all Pak diplomats for their tireless efforts”.

It is worth mentioning that apart from claiming the responsibility of the Pulwama terror attack, the JeM had also released a video of the suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar.

Azhar Masood was lodged in Jammu’s high-security Kot Bhalwal jail when he was released in exchange for 155 hostages held on an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan in 1999.

Polling in the Pulwama segment, in the last phase of the staggered Anantnag elections, will be held on 6 May.