Need more time: China after blocking move against Masood Azhar once again
After blocking the move to tag Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), China on Thursday said that it needs more time to conduct a "thorough, in-depth investigation on the matter". "China's stand is in line with the rules, procedures of the UN sanctions committee. The technical hold is to ensure that China has enough time to study the matter," foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
China added that Beijing is "full of sincerity" and is "ready to work with India to build on the consensus of the leaders (Wuhan summit) for greater progress in ties". The statement comes hours after China exercised its veto for the fourth time since the 2016 Pathankot terror attack to place a hold on the move to ban Masood Azhar.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the JeM killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, India expressed "disappointment" over China's move. "We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a prescribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019", said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement.
Outraged over China's decision, the United States has also warned that they "may be forced to pursue other actions" at the Security Council if Beijing continued with this policy. "If China is serious about these goals, it should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country from being held accountable to the Council. If China continues to block this designation, responsible member states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn't have to come to that," a US diplomat said.
Claiming that China has been inconsistent with combating terror, the US diplomat said, "Pakistan has often depended on China to protect it from the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups and individuals in the UN 1267 sanctions committee."