By Tenzin Dharpo
JeM chief Masood Azhar. file
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 15: Despite banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claiming responsibility for last month’s attack in Pulwam killing 40, China has blocked the bid to register JeM chief Masood Azhar on the United Nations terror list for the fourth time since 2009.
On three earlier occasions, China initially put technical hold on the bid for as long as nine months and later vetoed to block the bid altogether angering India and many other nations which say Beijing is supporting Pakistan which is accused of harbouring and assisting Azhar’s terror campaigns against India.
"We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019.
“We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors. We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice," the MEA statement stated.
The proposal this time was initiated by France and backed by the US and the UK. Russia, the other permanent member of the UNSC, also backed the move while Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, Poland, Italy, Japan and Belgium were among the cosponsors of the proposal.
Last month, days after the terror attack in Pulwama, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told a media briefing, "As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organisations. JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner."
Hours after the block by China, the hashtags #ChinaBacksTerror and #BoycottChina were trending on Twitter and calls for boycotting Chinese goods in India have gathered momentum.
Maulana Masood Azhar was one of the three terrorists released in exchange for passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 (IC814) that had taken off from Kathmandu and landed in Taliban controlled Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1999.