Masood Azhar terrorist tag: Pakistan open, but with a rider

New Delhi: While India grapples with the blacklisting of Masood Azhar in the United Nations Security Council, Pakistan has said that it is open to the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, as long as it was not related to the Pulwama terror attack.

The comments were made by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on a Pakistani TV show, Islamabad Views, on Sunday. “(India should) give evidence that Masood Azhar had anything to do with the attack in Pulwama. If that is not the case, then we can discuss the listing. It is not a big issue,” Faisal said.

Stating that the Pulwama attack was a separate issue, Faisal said that his country had said, several times, that India was trying to “suppress” the indigenous uprising in Jammu and Kashmir. Faisal’s statement comes days after the United Kingdom said it was optimistic that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood

Azhar will soon be declared a global terrorist by the United Nations even as it called for “verifiable” and “irreversible” action against terror groups by Pakistan.  Last month, China put a technical hold on a fresh proposal to impose a ban on Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based JeM which claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack. It was for the fourth time, China blocked Azhar’s listing.

“We are strong supporter of listing of Azhar. We hope there will be conclusion to the issue soon,” Asquith added. The fresh proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US, in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

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