China Defends Blocking Proposal By US, UK, France To Ban Jaish Chief Masood Azhar

Beijing: China today defended its decision to block a proposal by US, UK and France at the United Nations for designating Pathankot attack mastermind and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying that “conditions” have not yet been met for Beijing to back the move.

Replying to a spate of questions on China putting a technical hold for the third time on attempts to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing that Beijing resorted to this move to allow the “relevant parties” to reach a consensus.

“Last year 1,267 Committee of the UN Security Council discussed the issue regarding listing Masood (Azhar) in the sanctions list. There were different views with no consensus reached,” Mr Lu said.

“As for the submission once again by relevant countries to list him in the sanctions list, I would say the conditions are not yet met for the Committee to reach a decision,” he said.

“China has put the request on technical hold, to allow the relevant parties more time to consult with each other. This is also in line with rules of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the rules of the discussion of the Committee,” he said.

About the significance of US, UK and France pushing for the ban against the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief this time, unlike last year when India pressed for his listing as a global terrorist, Mr Lu said, “I would like to point out that the Committee has its own set of discussion rules.”

“So, whoever submitted the request we believe all the members of the committee will act in line with regulations of the Security Council and its affiliations,” he said.

To a question whether it will have an impact on China-India relations, he said Beijing and New Delhi “have exchanged views” on the issue. “We don’t hope it will have a negative impact on our relationship,” he said.

On criticism that China is continuously blocking the move at the behest of Pakistan, Mr Lu said, “China’s action in the Security Council and its affiliations are in line with the regulations and procedures.”

“We put out technical hold after we had several rounds of consultations with India. We hope relevant parties have enough time to consult with each other to make sure that the decision made by the Committee will be based on consensus representing the broad international community,” he said.

China has put a “hold” on the proposal initiated by US, UK and France, which comes barely weeks after India’s bid to get terrorist Masood Azhar banned by the United Nations were scuttled by Beijing last December. India has taken up the matter with the Chinese government.