Beijing blocks Indian bid to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar

United Nations: China has blocked India’s request to add Masood Azhar head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) operating in indian Jammu and Kashmir to a UN Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda, Indian Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said on Friday. Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said that India had requested that Azhar be added to the list nine months ago and had received strong backing from all other members of the council. But China, which put a hold on the move in April, had now blocked it, he said. “We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism,” he said in a statement. Swarup added that the inability of the international community to take the step showed the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism.” China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Friday evening.

India has accused JeM and its top leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, of masterminding several attacks, including a deadly assault on an Indian air base in January. India’s counter-terrorism agency on 17th December charged Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and its leader Masood Azhar for attack on the Pathankot air force base in January. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) alleged that all four gunmen who stormed the air base on January 2 were “Pakistani nationals” and Azhar was the mastermind behind the attack. “All the terrorists are accused of waging war against India. This was a criminal conspiracy to attack our security infrastructure,” said a senior official at the NIA in New Delhi.

On earlier occasions too, China had defended its second technical hold to prevent a UN ban on Pakistan-based JeM Chief Masood Azhar saying there were “different views” on India’s application and that Beijing’s move will allow more time for the “relevant parties” to have consultations. When India reacted to this development, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the listing application member states submitted to the 1267 Committee of UN “must comply” with specific requirements of relevant resolutions of UN Security Council (UNSC).

[Agencies]

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