New Delhi: India is reaching out to China and other 14 member countries of the UN Security Council to designate as a global terrorist Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a fresh move has been made to ban him by the world body, official sources said.
The US, Britain and France have moved a proposal at the United Nations Security Council last week to designate the chief of the JeM, which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. The sources said any UNSC member country can seek clarification on the proposal till March 13 following which the process to listing will commence. “We are reaching out to all the 15 UNSC member countries both in New Delhi as well as in their respective capitals. We will leave no stone unturned to get support of all member countries,” said a source.
Azhar’s listing by the UNSC will subject him to global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo. It is the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. In 2009, India unsuccessfully moved a proposal to designate Azhar. In 2016 again, India moved the proposal with the P3 – the US, the United Kingdom and France in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar. In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.
Sources said listing of Azhar as global terrorist by the UNSC will send a huge political signal to Pakistan that it must dismantle the terror infrastructure in its territory. Meanwhile, sources said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale postponed a scheduled visit to Iran and China following the escalation in Indo-Pak ties. Gokhale was to travel to Tehran on March 3.