China has a responsibility not to shield Pakistan, a senior Trump administration official has said, expressing deep disappointment over Beijing’s decision to block a bid in the UN to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”.
Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) led by Azhar claimed responsibility for the February 14 terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district which killed over 44 CRPF personnel.
“We think China has a responsibility to also not shield Pakistan and join the international community in calling on Pakistan to take action against terrorists operating on its soil,” the senior Trump administration official said on Wednesday.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, the US, UK and France had moved a fresh proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based terror group JeM’s chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
The proposal was moved by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council.
The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.
However, just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal, which India has termed as disappointing.
“We believe that China and the US share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace. And that any failure on the Security Council as part to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist would run counter to this mutual goal that China and the United States have,” the official said.
“We don’t really understand this. China should not be shielding Pakistan’s support for known terrorist organisations. So, we’re hoping that we can work together on a mutual goal in terms of countering terrorism and upholding our security council responsibility,” the official said.
The Trump administration’s view on China’s decision on Azhar came as Germany initiated a move at the European Union to list the JeM leader as a global terrorist.
Noting that it was not the first time the JeM attacked India, the official said this was the reason the Trump administration thinks now is the time for Pakistan to crackdown on the terror group.
This has been made very clear to the leadership of Pakistan, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
This same group was responsible for other attacks in India like the 2001 Parliament attack, which resulted in a six-month India-Pakistan mobilisation, the official said.
The US is also working at the United Nations, urging Pakistan to uphold its responsibilities pursuant to its UN Security Council commitments to deny safe haven and support to terrorists and to freeze the funds and financial assets of entities on the UN Security Council 1267 sanctions list
This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on Azhar’s listing.
US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino had earlier said that Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace.
(With agency inputs)