The Statesman/Asia News Network
Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, tweeted: “Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list.”The decision to declare Azhar as an international terrorist was taken by the UNSC Sanctions Committee 1267.
The decision to designate the JeM chief came three months after the ghastly terror attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of Kashmir carried out by the JeM.
The proposal was earlier blocked by China, which lifted its “technical hold” on Wednesday making it a huge diplomatic win for India.
In a message, Akbaruddin said that it is a significant outcome for India because “we have been at it for several years”.
“The first effort was made in 2009. More recently, we have been persistent, diligent and, in a subterranean manner, making all our efforts towards this goal. Today that goal stands achieved,” he said.
Thanking US, UK and France besides the countries in and outside the council which supported India’s effort at “not tolerating a terrorist”, Akbaruddin especially mentioned the Permanent Representative of Indonesia “who was instrumental in ensuring that the process went smoothly and in accordance with our agreed understandings”.
“All in all, this has been a happy and good day for those who would like to pursue the approach of zero tolerance for terrorism,” he added.
It is important to note that Beijing’s decision to lift the technical hold came just over a week after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale met China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in China.
Gokhale had during his visit held “regular bilateral consultations” with Yi as well as Executive Vice Foreign Minister of China Le Yucheng and Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.
The proposal on which China had placed its hold was moved by France, UK and the US.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had on Tuesday said that “positive progress” has been made to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN but had declined to give any timeline on the issue.
The remarks came days after President Xi Jinping met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at Beijing.
“We support the issue of listing of Masood Azhar which should be resolved through political consultation within the framework of 1267 Committee. We think that is also the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the members of the Council. At present, the relevant consultations are underway in the 1267 Committee and positive progress has been made,” said Shuang, adding, “We believe in the joint efforts of all parties. This problem can be properly solved.”
The MEA had earlier said that New Delhi has shared all evidences of terrorist activities of JeM and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar with China regarding the terrorist leader’s 1267 listing.
“It’s now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorised bodies of UN to take a decision on listing of Masood Azhar,” the MEA was quoted as saying by ANI.
“India will continue to pursue all avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice,” the MEA said.
Masood Azhar is the chief of JeM, which carried out a series of terror attacks on India including the 2001 Parliament attack, the January 2016 Pathankot terror attack and the September 2016 Uri terror attack. The most recent attack was the 14 February Pulwama terror attack which killed 40 CRPF personnel.
According to ANI, Azhar was put under house arrest at Markaz Subhan Allah in Bahawalpur, post the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strike at Balakot and has been recently shifted to a safe house in Islamabad.