India’s move to get Pathankot terror attacks mastermind, Jaish-e-Mohamed chief Masood Azhar, banned by the UN was rebuffed for the second time by China, a close friend of Pakistan.

New Delhi has voiced disappointment over the move.

India had approached the UN in February to include Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list, in the aftermath of the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base by Pakistan-based JeM terrorists.

However, China requested the UN sanctions committee to keep on hold the move to ban Masood Azhar.

The UN had banned JeM in 2001 but India’s effort to ban Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack was not successful as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, didn’t allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.

India voiced disappointment at the “technical hold” put on its application to include the name of Azhar, in the UN sanctions list, and criticised the UN sanctions committee for adopting a “selective approach to combating terrorism”.

In a statement, the ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan based JeM was listed in UN Security Council Committee established under UNSCR 1267/1989/2253 as far back as 2001 for its well known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.”

“The recent terror attack in Pathankot on January 2 has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar…” the statement said.

“It needs no emphasis that the UNSCR 1267 regime … should aim to protect all member states and their citizens from the activities of terror groups such as JeM and its leader Mohamad Masood Azhar.”

UNSCR 1267 regime’s “working methods, based on the principles of unanimity and anonymity, is leading the Committee to adopt a selective approach to combating terrorism.

“This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism,” the statement said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei, answering a question on blocking the ban on Azhar, indicated that it did not have all the facts to support the ban.

The blocking of India’s move to get a ban slapped on the terrorist came as Indian PM Narendra Modi was in the US, to attend a Nuclear Security Summit where he spoke out strongly against terrorism and on the need for countries to unite against the menace.

Indian PM Modi pays homage to victims of terror attack at the Maelbeek Metro station in Brussels, Belgium on March 30, 2016
Indian PM Modi pays homage to victims of terror attack at the Maelbeek Metro station in Brussels, Belgium on March 30, 2016

In what was seen as an unmistakable reference to Pakistan, Modi said the world needs to drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that “his” terrorist is not “my” terrorist.

In June last year, China had blocked India’s move in the UN demanding action against Pakistan over release of Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as it contended that India had provided insufficient information.

At working dinner hosted by US President Barack Obama, to kick off the two-day Nuclear Security Summit Obama, Modi warned about state actors abetting terrorists.

“Terrorism is globally networked. But, we still act only nationally to counter this threat,” he said.

“Terror has evolved. Terrorists are using 21st century technology. But our responses are rooted in the past,” he said asking the leaders to focus on three contemporary features of terrorism.

  1. today’s terrorism uses extreme violence as theatre;
  2. we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smart phone;
  3. State actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk.

India has long asked Islamabad to take action against Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), responsible for the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks.

But the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks remain unpunished.

Shalini Singh

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