Pakistan's Masood Azhar: China blocks bid to call militant terrorist


China has shot down India's proposal to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed's (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the wake of Pulwama bombing, claimed by JeM.

China recorded its "technical hold" with the "1267 sanctions committee" that aims to impose strictures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

"China will adopt a responsible attitude and continue to participate in discussions", foreign ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang said Wednesday when asked about what position China would take on the issue of Azhar's listing. Until now, all the P-3 countries- US, UK and France have co-sponsored the proposal except for China. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to give a sense of the feeling of other members of the Security Council after China blocked the move to designate Azhar a global terrorist.

It further stated how China's non-cooperation has prevented any action by the global community to enlist the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

Earlier on Wednesday, China hinted that it may again block the move, stating that "the solution that is acceptable to all sides" is conducive to resolve the issue.

France, US and United Kingdom had proposed the listing of Azhar as an worldwide terrorist and if no country raises any issue by March 13, Azhar will be put on the UN terror list.

Beijing had always demonstrated responsibility, and it had been in contact with the parties on the resolution and always taken an appropriate stance, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Another way for western powers to blacklist Azhar would be through the adoption of a Security Council resolution, which needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by Russia, China, the United States, Britain or France to pass.

"This one won't be undone by another romantic stroll through Wuhan", he said, indicating that such a move by Beijing would only escalate the tension between India and China.

Hectic diplomatic and political parleys have preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to member countries of the UNSC.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Pakistan, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including those from the five permanent UNSC members - the US, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France - to highlight Islamabad's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo emphasised the need for an immediate action against terrorists at a meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in Washington on Monday, the State Department said.

The statement also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also recently denied in a television interview that JeM had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.