MAY 2, Thursday
* Front Page
UN Security Council designates Masood Azhar as global terrorist
Reasons for the decision however do not mention the Pulwama attack
Sriram Lakshman/, Suhasini Haidar
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on Wednesday. Significantly, the reasons for listing did not mention the Pulwama attack of February 14, for which the JeM had claimed responsibility, and which found mention in the latest (February 27) listing request for Azhar.
Nevertheless, the listing is a victory for India in a decade-old diplomatic battle waged primarily by it and supported by its friends at the UNSC, as it would mean a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on Azhar.
The P-3 or group of three permanent UNSC members, the U.S., the U.K. and France, had co-sponsored a listing request at the Committee on February 27, weeks after the Pulwama attack that killed over 40 security personnel. That request, which The Hindu has access to, reads, “…JeM claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Pulwama”.
However, China placed a hold on the request — which normally lasts for three months — on March 13. This was the fourth such attempt to designate Azhar, over a decade, that had gone awry.
At the end of March, the U.S. circulated a draft resolution (to sanction Azhar) among the UNSC members, i.e., outside the 1267 Committee, presumably to pressure China into either supporting the listing or having to take a stand in open proceedings and risk being seen as supporting terror.
Earlier this week, China had said “some progress” had been made and indicated it was willing to change its decade-long position.
Welcoming the decision, India called it a “step in the right direction.”