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China once again puts technical hold on UN proposal to designate JeM chief Azhar as ‘global terrorist’

In a setback to India, China once again put a technical hold on a proposal by the UN Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’.

The 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 on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 PM local time (New York) Wednesday, (12:30 AM IST Thursday).

Just before the deadline, China put a “technical hold” on the proposal, a diplomat at the UN said.

The diplomat said China asked for “more time to examine” the proposal.

All eyes were on China, which has in the past blocked India’s bids to get Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist thrice.

In its reaction, the External Affairs Ministry said India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that leaders of terror groups involved in heinous attacks on Indian citizens are brought to justice.

“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 February 14,” the MEA said.

Without naming China, it said the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee was not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Azhar on account of a member placing the proposal on hold.

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