Big Win For India: UN Declares JeM Chief Masood Azhar As Global Terrorist
Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was on Wednesday, May 1 listed as a designated global terrorist by the UN Security Council. This announcement comes 3 months after 40 CPRF officers were killed in the Pulwama terror attack claimed by JeM. This is a major diplomatic win for India, whose attempts to get Azhar sanctioned have been blocked over 4 times in a decade by China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council.
Azhar was one of three top terrorists swapped for hostages in the IC 814 Kandahar hijack in 1999. A global ban entails travel restriction and freezing of bank accounts. He will be banned from making public speeches and leading any organization. He has been the mastermind of multiple terror attacks in India including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and festering the jihadist movement in Kashmir as per Hindustan Times.
Relentless western countries proposed the fifth proposal
On February 21st unanimous resolution by the Security Council named JeM as being responsible for the Pulwama attack and talked about nailing the perpetrators therefore, the fifth proposal to sanction Azhar was moved by France, the US and UK last month. China blocked the proposal again on March 13th after a 10 day wait period after which the US threatened to take matters to the UN Security Council where proceedings are public. Despite Washington’s perceived trade issues with India, it has been a strong supporter of anti- terror policy.
The US was persistent on getting the terrorist tag for Azhar during consultations on April 23rd, which kicked off a silence period (when objections can be raised). The period ended on May 1, and following no objections from China this time, it went through. India and its European allies continued negotiations with China during this period. India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale on his recent visit to Beijing presented irrefutable evidence of Masood Azhar’s involvement in terrorist activity including the Pulwama attack to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi as reported by TOI.
Confirming the UN decision on Masood Azhar, Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, tweeted: “Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in UN Sanctions list.”
France, the current president of the UN Security Council who made great efforts for getting sanctions on Masood Azhar was the first to welcome the listing. France further said, “We welcome the designation today, by the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee, of Masood Azhar on the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.”
Big,small, all join together.
Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list
Grateful to all for their support. #Zerotolerance4Terrorism
— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) May 1, 2019
India welcomes the move
Welcoming the decision, India called it a “step in the right direction”, which demonstrated the international community’s resolve to fight against terrorism and “its enablers”.
“This is in accordance with India’s position and in line with the information that India has shared with the members of the Sanctions Committee regarding terrorist activities of Masood Azhar and the JeM. India will continue with its efforts through international forums to ensure that terrorist organizations and their leaders who cause harm to our citizens are brought to justice” said Raveesh Kumar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson according to The Hindu.
China’s diplomatic move
China seems to be finally growing weary of its troublesome ally. Pakistan’s dwindling economy and perilous security conditions in addition to global pushback are making China rethink its foreign policy. China’s attempts to coax India to renew dialogue with Pakistan also fell flat post-Balakot as Western allies supported India’s stance reported TOI. “This is a win-win situation for both sides in counter-terrorism cooperation, which is not only beneficial to Indian national stability and to promote the peace process between India and Pakistan, while signifying solidarity of SCO members. It will have a very good impact on Sino-Indian ties,” Wang Dehua, South Asia expert at the Shanghai Municipal Centre for International Studies as per Hindustan Times.