UNSC members may be forced to pursue other actions on Masood Azhar: US after China blocks ban on Jaish chief

A US 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.

Published: 14th March 2019 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2019 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

JeM chief Massood Azhar (File | PTI)

By Online Desk

WASHINGTON: Outraged by China blocking for the fourth time a move to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, the US has warned they "may be forced to pursue other actions" at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy.

"If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn't have to come to that," the US diplomat said in an unusual tough warning to China.

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.

Beijing previously put a technical hold on similar proposals at the UNSC thrice.

READ MORE | China again blocks bid at UN to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist

In the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attack, three permanent members of Security Council - the US, France and the UK - had moved a resolution to designate Azhar a glocal terrorist.

Except for China, which wields veto power in the Security Council, all other UNSC members were on board with the move before the al-Qaida (1267) Sanctions Committee.

India has expressed disappointment over China's decision but said it will "pursue all available avenues" to bring to justice terrorist leaders involved in attack on Indians.

"This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on this listing. China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do," another security council diplomat said in response to a question.

"China's move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combatting terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia," said the diplomat, requesting not to be named to speak frankly, given that the deliberations of the UN sanctions committee are confidential, thus preventing member-countries from talking about it in public.

The second security council diplomat also slammed Pakistan for depending on China to protect terrorist groups and leaders that operate from its soil.

"Pakistan has quite often depended on China to protect it from the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups and individuals in the UN 1267 sanctions committee," the diplomat said, adding,  "the case for designating Masood Azhar - the leader of a group the UN already calls an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization - is undeniable." 

READ | Disappointed over China blocking move at UN to list Masood Azhar as global terrorist: MEA

On Tuesday, the Trump administration had said that Azhar meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations. "Our views on Jaish-e-Mohammad and its founder are well known.  JeM is a UN-designated terrorist group," State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said.

"Azhar is the founder and the leader of JEM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations. JEM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace," Palladino said.

The State Department referred to this statement on Wednesday when asked about the latest developments in New York.

"I would say that the United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal," Palladino said.

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