In a calculated move aimed at making China change its stand on the UN designation of Masood Azhar, three major UN players — the US, UK and France — plan to make a combined effort to assign the global terrorist tag to the Pakistan-based Jaish leader. The trio is seriously considering an open debate on the issue, which will be followed by a vote, very soon.
The expectation is China will find it tough to defend a terrorist in public and it also runs the risk of being isolated.
The move comes close on the heels of China blocking a resolution at a UN Security Council Committee on designating Azhar as a global terrorist.
On Friday, China’s foreign ministry had sought to justify its ‘technical hold’ on Azhar’ blacklisting saying it needs to study all sides of the issue, which will take time.
However, Beijing’s delaying tactics may not cut ice with other UNSC members, who are losing patience.
According to reports, hectic parleys are on between the three permanent UNSC members and China to arrive at a ‘compromise’ on Azhar. If the discussions fall through, then the three countries will quickly move a resolution for the terrorist’s listing in the most powerful wing of the UN, which will be preceded by an open debate on the issue.
Why it’s different this time
While China has so far managed to block a resolution on Masood Azhar four times in the UN, the dynamics are different this time. The general mood among other UNSC members is one of frustration at China’s temerity to protect a known terrorist. And, unlike in the past, they are not willing to wait for long to conclude talks with China