No consensus over listing Masood Azhar as global terrorist: China

Beijing: China today indicated that there was no change in its policy of blocking India’s efforts to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN, saying there was still no consensus over the issue.

The indication came hours before China’s technical hold on a proposal by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist was set to lapse.

“We raised a technical hold so as to allow more time for the committee and its members to deliberate on this matter. But there is still absence of consensus on this matter,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing when asked whether China would veto the application again.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the JeM terrorist under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

Defending China’s consistent technical holds, Hua said China’s actions are meant to ensure and safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council.

“We will continue to follow the mandate of the committee and its rules of procedure and remain in constant communication and coordination with the members of the committee,” she said.

To the follow-up questions, Hua said the committee has its rules. The committee is yet reach the consensus.

“The Committee is yet to reach an agreement. This is a fact,” she said.

China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist after having blocked the move in February this year at the UN.

Hua’s remarks indicate that China will continue its policy to block moves by India and other countries led by the US to block Azhar’s listing during the second term of Chinese President Xi Jinping, which began over a week ago.

China in the past had asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan in order to reach an understanding on Azhar’s listing issue.

In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India to declare Azhar as a global terrorist.

Last year in March, China was the only member in the 15- nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.

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Free Press Journal