NEW DELHI: In a massive diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as “global terrorist” after China lifted its technical hold on a proposal to blacklist him. India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin broke the news with a tweet: “Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support. #Zerotolerance 4terrorism.”
The UNSC listing, however, refers to Azhar’s terror role in 1990s, IC-814 hijacking, links to Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Taliban, besides its call to recruit Jihadis for Afghanistan, but has no reference to Pulwama or Kashmir though the original joint proposal moved by the US, the UK and France had a strong Pulwama underpinning.
Thanking the global community for finally arriving at a consensus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Der aaye, durust aaye (Better late than never).”
Addressing an election rally in Jaipur, Modi called it a big success for India’s efforts to root out terror. “We were relentless that India’s enemies should not go free and we have realised our objective. This is just the beginning. Wait for what happens next.”
The US mission welcomed the UN decision, saying the Jaish has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a serious threat to regional stability and peace. The listing mandates that all UN member states implement an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against Azhar.
As for Pakistan, its Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal sought to claim satisfaction at the elimination of the K-word from the proposal. “The current listing proposal has been agreed after removal of all political references, including attempts to link it with Pulwama and maligning the struggle of the Kashmiris,” he said adding Pakistan will immediately enforce the sanctions imposed on Azhar.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang’s statement was bland. “Recently, relevant countries revised and re-submitted the materials for the listing proposal to the 1267 Committee. After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, China does not have objection to the listing proposal,” he said.