Opinion I Pak dictating China's decision on United Nations sanctions on Masood Azhar?

PM Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping | Commons

PM Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping | Commons

China has shot down India's proposal to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the wake of Pulwama bombing, claimed by JeM.

It is the third time China has vetoed such an effort by world powers, which underlines China's strong commitment to side with Pakistan in a time when India is using every worldwide forum against Pakistan.

Listing of Azhar as a terrorist would have meant a significant diplomatic victory for India and resulted in restrictions on his travel and freezing of his assets.

"China's move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combatting terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia", said the diplomat, requesting not to be named to speak frankly, given that the deliberations of the United Nations sanctions committee are confidential, thus preventing member-countries from talking about it in public.

Amid India-Pakistan tension, Pulwama terror attack, the proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, UK and the USA on February 27.

A U.N. Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that if China continued to prevent the designation of Azhar then other council members "may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council".

China placed a "technical hold" on the request, according to a note from China's United Nations mission to the committee, seen by Reuters. Even the global support for India post the Pulwama attack as well as its strike on Balakot; couldn't tilt the balance this time. Yet another attempt on the JeM chief's designation, led by the United States, France and Britain, has begun following the February 14 Pulwama auto bomb attack that killed more than 40 CRPF personnel.

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"They agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and to deny safe haven to all terrorist groups in its territory". Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met four times past year including in April 2018 in Wuhan in a bid to stabilize ties rocked by the standoff.

"The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue", he added.

The Kartarpur corridor is about 120km north of Lahore and will be used by Sikh pilgrims coming from India on a visa-free basis to visit their holy sites in Pakistan. China considers Pakistan an all-weather ally, describing their friendship as "higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the deepest sea in the world, and sweeter than honey".

Pakistan's Foreign Office also issued a statement on Monday which said that Mr Qureshi informed Mr Bolton that the Indian aggression of Feb 26 was a violation of Pakistan's territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter.

Earlier, the entire UNSC had in a statement condemned the Pulwama terror strike and held Jaish reponsible for it.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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