Major diplomatic coup for India as China agrees to designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist

United Nations: In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Moha-mmed head Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist,” after China dropped its objection to a proposal to blacklist him. Earlier, Beijing had tried to block moves to blacklist Azhar four times. But this time, it found there was no room for objection ‘‘after a careful study of revised materials.”

“Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in UN sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support,” India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin tweeted. A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

But in what is seen as a face-saver for Pakistan, an all-weather ally of China, the UN Security Council resolution dropped any reference to the Pulwama terror attack. Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed was behind the terror attack in which 40 soldiers were killed in February. A veto-wielding per-manent member of the UN Security Council, China was the only nation holding out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar; it kept pllacing a “technical hold” on the move and asking for “more time to examine” the proposal.

When asked whether China has lifted the hold, Akbaruddin told PTI that “Yes, done.” The UN sanctions committee takes its decisions by consensus. In recent days, there had been indications that China is likely to come around. Beijing had said on Tuesday that the vexed issue will be “properly resolved.”

India had relentlessly pursued the matter with its international allies. Result: There was sustained international pressure on China, particularly from the US, to remove its objection. Azhar is a blue-eyed boy of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, which masterminded several audacious attacks on India, including the 2001 Parliament strike and the Pulwama carnage.

India had avenged the massacre by swooping down on Azhar’s terror academy in Balakot. For two decades after his release in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999, Azhar had made Pakistan his home with the ISI providing him a safe haven.

The US on Wednesday welcomed the designation of Azhar as a “global terrorist” by the UN and sought “sustained actions” from Pakistan against terrorism, consistent with its international obligations. “We appreciate Pakistani Prime Minister Khan’s stated commitment that Pakistan, for the sake of its own future, will not allow the operation of militant and terrorist groups from its territory,” the spokesperson said.

SHOT IN THE ARM FOR BJP The diplomatic victory has come bang in the middle of the general election, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hyped his government’s muscular anti-terror efforts and national security focus. BJP leaders tweeted with hashtags like #ModiHaiTohMumkinHai and Union Minister Arun Jaitley said the development underscored that India “is in safe hands”.

This is Just the start: PM
“The news from the United Nations is that Masood Azhar has been designated as a global terrorist. This is a great success. Our policy and practice is clear on national security. From whichever quarter the country faces a threat, we will go there and hit them. This BJP is a powerful government.

This is the new India, where 130 million people’s roar is echoing around the world. Nobody can ignore the voice of India. This is just the beginning,  just wait and watch”

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