In a significant press statement on the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, the UN Security Council named Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the Pakistan-based terror group that claimed responsibility for the strike, as it condemned the suicide bombing that killed over 40 CRPF soldiers. The UNSC statement called for bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
The UNSC members asserted that there was a need to hold the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of the reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable.
The UNSC comprises 15 permanent and non-permanent members, including China. In a show of solidarity and support to India, the council on Thursday condemned in the “strongest terms” the “heinous and cowardly” suicide bombing for which JeM has claimed responsibility.
The member countries expressed their “deepest sympathy” and condolences to the families of the victims and also the citizens and the Government of India, and wished speedy and full recovery of the injured.
In the UNSC statement, the members also reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constituted one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
With Pakistan-based JeM claiming responsibility for the attack, India has been making efforts to isolate its neighbour in the international community, saying it supports to terror groups and cross-border terrorism. JeM founder Masood Azhar is based in Pakistan and carries out his activities from there.
Importantly, the UNSC has urged all member countries “in accordance with the obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions to cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities” to act against terror.
The statement assumes significance as Pakistan’s “all-weather ally” China has always vetoed attempts at the UNSC to add Masood Azhar to the list of global terrorists facing UN sanctions.
According to reports, China had made efforts to stall the UNSC statement naming JeM.
Quoting sources, an NDTV report said China repeatedly tried to block the statement from being issued, as it did not want a reference to Jaish-e-Mohammed, and wanted the UNSC to refer to Kashmir as “India-administered Kashmir”. They also allegedly objected to the portion on “urging all states to cooperate actively with the Government of India”.
The resolution was however adopted unanimously, including by China.
Quoting sources, a PTI report said the statement contained “specific language that India had proposed via partner countries”, including the mention of JeM.
Responding to the UNSC statement, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: “Pakistan comes under international pressure to act against terrorists & terror groups operating from areas under its control & to take action against those responsible for Pulwama attack. UNSC strongly condemns cowardly suicide bombing in #Pulwama by JeM. #TimeToAct”.
In a subsequent post, Kumar highlighted: “The UNSC underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice. ”
The UNSC underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 22, 2019
According to reports, there had been intense lobbying by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi too against a statement unfavourable to Pakistan. She met UNSC President Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea and other diplomats on Tuesday to appraise them of the “dangerous situation”, IANS reported.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet have called for prosecution of those responsible for the attack.