India "disappointed" as China blocks move on Masood Azhar again
China blocked UN Security Council from designating Jaish-e-Mohammed founder, Masood Azhar, a global terrorist for the fourth time on Thursday. The fresh plea against him was moved by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. China, which is a permanent veto-wielding member, put a "technical hold" on the proposal. India's Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, said that it was "disappointed" with the outcome.
UK, US and France wanted action against Azhar
The P-3 countries had moved a plea in the UNSC on February 27, days after JeM attacked a CRPF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu highway. In the attack, the worst one to hit the valley in decades, 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives. The US, the UK, and France wanted Azhar to be declared a global terrorist under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of UNSC.
While several countries stood with India, China didn't
While India managed to get the support of other countries, including Russia, all eyes were set on China. Notably, the co-sponsors of the plea included Australia, Bangladesh, Germany, Poland, Italy, Japan, and Belgium. Before the final voting, Lu Kang, spokesperson of Chinese foreign ministry, had said, "China will adopt a responsible attitude and continue to participate in discussions."
China's stand on terrorism remains unchanged
The block can last for a maximum of nine months. After that China can either use its power to formally block the move or terminate the proposal. China took the same stand against Azhar in 2009, 2016 and 2017, showing its support for Pakistan. A ban would have translated into freezing of Azhar's assets. A travel ban would have also been imposed on him.
Post Pulwama, UNSC had slammed JeM
The UNSC had condemned the Pulwama attack in strong words and held JeM responsible for it. UNSC noted that Azhar founded JeM in 1999, and in 2008 he called for volunteers to "join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces". On Wednesday, the US said China's opposition to "update" the terrorists' list went against shared interests of achieving global peace and stability.
Meanwhile, Pakistan was asked to crackdown on terrorism
The Pulwama attack led to a serious escalation between India and Pakistan, pushing both countries on the brink of a full-blown war. Pakistan came at the receiving end of pressure from the international community and was asked to crack down on homegrown terror. The FATF, a global watchdog, put Pakistan on the greylist and said the ranking might degrade if substantial steps aren't taken.
India is "disappointed" with the outcome
While New Delhi continued to get support from other countries, Beijing's move against the plea serves as a setback. "We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization," the MEA said in a statement. The MEA added the efforts against terrorism will continue.
MEA thanked countries for supporting India
"We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors," the statement added.
Unsurprisingly, Congress attacked PM Modi after China's move
As soon as the news saw the light of the day, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He called the Centre's foreign policy a series of "diplomatic disasters". Notably, China's move comes within a year of PM Modi's meeting with President Xi Jinping at Wuhan. While China had said ties with India have been "better", the latest decision shows otherwise.