India welcomes France’s freeze of JeM chief’s assets

New Delhi: India on Friday welcomed France’s decision to freeze the assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.

“We welcome the decision taken by France to sanction Masood Azhar, Chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based & UN proscribed terrorist organisation; and responsible for the Pulwama terrorist attack,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler tweeted a press statement of the French government, which said, “France has decided to sanction Masood Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets in application of the Monetary and Financial Code. A joint decree of the Ministries of the Interior, and Economy and Finance was published today in the Official Gazette.”

Ziegler tweeted, “Based on this decree, we will raise with our European partners the issue of including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts.”

“France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism…”

Pakistan, JeM’s base, is under pressure from many countries to act against the terrorist group, which claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 CRPF troopers.

The United Nations has deemed the JeM to be a terrorist organisation since 2001. However, defying global opposition to terrorism, China has repeatedly vetoed sanctions against Azhar. On Wednesday, China once again opposed designating Azhar as an international terrorist.