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India hopeful of China’s support to proposal for banning Masood Azhar

China has, in the past, blocked Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist at least on three occasions to save its all-weather friend Pakistan from global embarrassment.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India is hopeful that China will not block the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council (UNSC) this time around, given the evidence provided to Beijing of the terror outfit’s involvement in the Pulwama attack.

According to informed sources, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had provided to Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui irrefutable evidence of JeM’s involvement in the Pulwama attack and other terror strikes by the group in the past. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also discussed the issue with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi when she visited China recently for the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ meeting.

The French-led proposal, backed by the US and the UK to ban Azhar, is expected to be passed by the UNSC next week if China doesn’t block it. Though Russia, the fifth UNSC member, has not sponsored the resolution, it is expected to support the move. In fact, Russia is said to be in touch with China, trying to convince Beijing not to block the resolution against Azhar.

The chair of the UNSC sanctions committee has notified that unless he hears to the contrary by March 13, he would assume that its members have no objection to the addition of Azhar to the sanctions list.

China has, in the past, blocked Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist at least on three occasions to save its all-weather friend Pakistan from global embarrassment. The ban on Masood Azhar by the UNSC will virtually cripple the activities of his dreaded terror outfit and subject him to travel and financial ban.

Pakistan Foreign Minister recently acknowledged in a TV interview that Azhar was in his country and was suffering from renal failure.

The notification issued by UNSC after France approached the global body said, “The chair has the honour to transmit, for the consideration of the members, a proposal from the United States, the United Kingdom and France to add an individual, Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi, to the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

“Azhar has financially supported JEM. He is a former leader of the terrorist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, aka Harkat-ul-Ansar. Most of these groups’ members subsequently joined JeM under Azhar’s leadership. In 2008, JeM posters contained a call from Azhar for volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against western forces.”