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China blocks bid to list Azhar as global terrorist

China blocks bid to list Azhar as global terrorist

On February 19, a Chinese state-run newspaper reported that India must self-introspect its anti-terrorism policy rather than blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama suicide bombing and China for blocking efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist without proof.

Just before the deadline, China put a "technical hold" on the proposal, a diplomat at the United Nations told PTI.

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, three permanent members of Security Council - the US, France and the United Kingdom - had moved a resolution to designate Azhar a glocal terrorist.

It was under the no-objection period and Committee members had a period of 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The deadline for any country to seek clarification - the United Nations jargon for raising an objection - was 3 PM New York time Wednesday, which is 12.30 AM IST on Thursday.

Several American think-tank members slammed China for its decision delaying the Azhar listing.

China has vetoed Azhar's resolution thrice earlier - 2009, 2016, 2017, however in recent days pressure has grown to list Masood as a "global terrorist" after France backed India's stand on the issue. Following the Pulwama attack, whose responsibility was taken by terror outfit JeM, India once again approached the global community to play its bid in order to ban Masood Azhar and list him as UN-designated terrorist.

"The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue", he said, indicating that Beijing may again block the move to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

"We are grateful to all countries who supported the bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist", it said.

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"Only by making a decision through responsible and serious discussions can we resolve the issue in a sustainable manner", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a media briefing on Masood's issue.

India said it was "disappointed by this outcome" but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

The move didn't go down well with the India government.

When was the proposal moved?

Diplomatic sources in Washington said that the United States, which jointly moved the resolution along with Britain and France, wants the UNSC to adopt the resolution this time.

India has been reaching out to world leaders to blacklist Azhar ever since the JeM claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama terror attack, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead last month.

"They agreed that Pakistan needs to take concerted action to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and to deny safe haven to all terrorist groups in its territory". Pakistan responded a day later with fighter jets crossing into India-administered Kashmir.

China also added that it would play its responsible role in collaboration with all the concerned parties.