UN Lists Azhar a Global Terrorist

The United Nations designated Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist after China removed its technical hold within the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions committee on Wednesday, resulting in a major diplomatic victory for the government in the middle of the election season.

“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,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted.

China’s technical hold on March 13 was a favour to “iron brother” Pakistan as it stalled a renewed effort to corner Azhar after the Pulwama attack. But India managed to rally support of other UN Security Council members against China’s move.

The BJP was quick to claim the political dividend, calling it a “diplomatic surgical strike” ahead of the next three phases of the general election.

The decision by China to lift its technical hold was achieved after intense negotiations across global capitals since March 13 when for the fourth time it put a hold on the proposal to list Azhar under 1267 at Pakistan’s behest.

However, the US moved a draft resolution to the UNSC, which would have forced a vote on the issue and then the only way China could have blocked the process was by a veto.

Azhar is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” carried out by JeM.

While the US was backed by the UK and France in its endeavour, India engaged separately with China to strengthen its case during its foreign secretary’s visit to Beijing last month. Russia, the other P-5 member, played a quiet role by urging China to accede to India’s request in the backdrop of Pulwama terror attack to earn India’s goodwill.

Indonesia as chair of the 1267 designation committee also a played a key role.

China had to make a tough call because of its all-weather relationship with Pakistan, its long-term investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the possibility of becoming a target of the JeM following this decision.

China feared getting isolated globally if it failed to act against Azhar given the consensus against terrorism. China on Tuesday indicated that it was considering a shift.

“After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, China does not have objection to the listing proposal,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

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