“Unfortunate,” Says India As China Halts Move On Masood Azhar’s Brother At UN: “Will Pursue”

Arindam Bagchi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, expressed regret at China’s move.

New Delhi:

A day after China stopped a joint India-US bid at the UN to place sanctions on Abdul Rauf Asghar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s second-in-command, India’s foreign ministry said it regrets the “hold” and will keep seeking action.  

“India will continue pursuing its principled position of bringing these terrorists to justice, including through the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Regime,” said Arindam Bagchi, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson. “We note with regret that a ‘technical hold’ has been placed on the listing proposal,” he added.

“It is unfortunate that when it comes to our collective battle against terrorism, the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice,” he further said.  

Abdul Rauf Asghar is involved in the planning and execution of numerous terror attacks, according to Indian authorities. These include hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft IC814 (1999) – when India had to release his elder brother Masood Azhar to get the hostages back from Afghanistan – besides the attack on the Indian Parliament (2001) and on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot (2016).

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, placed the technical hold saying it needed more time to study the bid.  

Two months ago, China placed a similar hold against the listing of Lashkar-e-Taiba deputy chief Abdul Rehman Makki. He is accused of raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youths to resort to violence and planning attacks in India, including the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.  

In the past, China had placed a technical hold four times over a decade for similar listing of his brother, Masood Azhar. Finally, the sanctioning happened after the Pulwama terror attack in 2019.  

Syed Akbaruddin, who was India’s ambassador to the UN when Masood Azhar was sanctioned, says placing a technical hold is an old tactic that China uses.

“It’s a stalling tactic using procedures of sanctions committee,” Mr Akbaruddin, Dean of Kautilya School of Public Policy, told NDTV.

“There are ways to overcome it. It’s only a matter of our intention to pursue this to its logical conclusion. They can stall, they can duck, but they can’t escape” he added.  

Government sources said such politically motivated actions by China, in nearly every listing case of a Pakistan-based terrorist, undermine the entire sanctity of the working methods of the UNSC Sanctions Committees. They also pointed out that it exposes China’s “double speak and double standards” when it comes to the international community’s shared battle against terrorism.

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