US drafts resolution to blacklist Masood Azhar at UN to counter China
The US on Thursday introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) to get Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist, two weeks after China stalled a proposal initiated by France under the 1267 Sanctions Committee, leading to a sharp exchange between Washington and Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing: “This is not in line with resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to the solidarity and only complicates the issue. We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this resolution draft.”
China had previously prevented the committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017.
“The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other, it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN,” Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, US, had said in a tweet.
The draft resolution is backed by France and Britain, which joined the US earlier this month in pushing for sanctions against Azhar in the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State committees. Russia also supported the earlier move to ban Azhar.
The resolution aims to designate Azhar a terrorist and subject him to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. In the UNSC, a resolution must get nine votes in favour and must not be vetoed by China, Russia, the US, France or the UK to pass.
The JeM terror group had claimed responsibility for the 14 February Pulwama attack in Kashmir valley that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel. Tensions between India and Pakistan have been escalating since.