China holds India-US' proposal to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar's brother
China has blocked a listing by the United States and India to blacklist Pakistan-based terrorists under the UN Security Council's sanctions committee for the second time in less than two months.
In the second such move by Beijing in less than two months, China blocked a proposal by the United States and India to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar, the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and the deputy chief of the Pakistan-based terror group.
The latest proposal was halted a day after India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, told a Security Council meeting chaired by China that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without justifying must end and that the sanctions regime's credibility was at an all-time low.
Abdul Rauf Azhar, a Pakistani born in 1974, was sanctioned by the US in December 2010. He was the mastermind behind the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814, which led to the release of his brother Masood Azhar from an Indian prison.
According to sources, China, a permanent member of the Security Council and Pakistan's all-weather ally, put a halt to a proposal by the US and India to designate Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist and subject him to asset freezes, travel bans, and arms embargoes.
This is the second time in less than two months that China has blocked a listing by the United States and India to blacklist a Pakistan-based terrorists under the UN Security Council's sanctions committee.
In June this year, China halted a joint proposal by India and the United States to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the UN Security Council's 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
Makki is a US-designated terrorist and the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba leader and mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, Hafiz Saeed.
New Delhi and Washington had submitted a joint proposal to the UN Security Council's 1267 ISIL and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee to designate Makki as a global terrorist, but Beijing put a hold on this proposal at the last minute.
The US Department of Treasury designated Abdul Rauf Azhar, a senior leader of Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM), in December 2010 for acting for or on behalf of JeM."
According to the US, Abdul Rauf Azhar, a senior leader of the JeM, has urged Pakistanis to engage in militant activities. He served as JeM's acting leader in 2007, as one of India's most senior commanders, and as the organisation's intelligence coordinator."
"In 2008, Azhar was tasked to organise suicide attacks in India." He was also involved with the JeM's political wing and worked as a JeM official in charge of training camps.
The JeM has been involved in planning and executing several terror attacks in India, including the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and the 2016 attack on the Indian air force base in Pathankot.
During a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Ambassador Kamboj stated that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without justifying must end.
Sanctions Committees must become more transparent, accountable, and objective to function effectively. According to Kamboj, the practice of putting holds and blocks on listing requests without justifying must end.
She also expressed regret that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals of some of the world's most notorious terrorists have been put on hold.
The Sanctions Regime's credibility is at an all-time low due to double standards and ongoing politicisation. She added that we hope all members of the UN Security Council can pronounce together in one voice sooner rather than later in this collective fight against international terrorism.
Previously, China has placed holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list terrorists based in Pakistan.
A decade after first approaching the UN on the issue, India won a major diplomatic victory in May 2019 when the global body designated JeM chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist."
China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto power, was the sole holdout in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar, blocking attempts with a "technical hold." All committee decisions are reached by consensus.
India moved a proposal to designate Azhar on its own in 2009. In 2016, India proposed to the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee and the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom, and France - to ban Azhar, the mastermind of the January 2016 attack on the Pathankot air base.
The P3 nations advanced a similar proposal in 2017. On each occasion, however, China blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the sanctions committee.
(With inputs from PTI)