UN Set to Clash Over Masood Azhar?
US moves fresh resolution, China says ‘act cautiously’
NEW DELHI: “Act cautiously” China tells US on a fresh resolution seeking to ban Jaish e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. The face off between the two powers on the terrorist could result in a clash in the United Nations, as Washington has decided to move ahead “forcefully” with the resolution, supported by the UK and France.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told the media in Beijing that the US move only complicates the issue. “This is not in line with resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the Committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to solidarity and only complicates the issue. We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this resolution draft”, Geng said.
The US move comes two weeks after China put a technical hold on a proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaida Sanctions Committee of the Council. China has repeatedly taken this position, resisting earlier attempts to declare the Jaish chief as a global terrorist and bring him under sanctions.
The US resolution now circulated to the 15 member UN Security Council will, if passed bring the JeM leader under an arms embargo, travel ban and freeze his assets. JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack with Azhar issuing statements subsequently attacking India and warning the Pakistan Prime Minister against any steps towards peace.
China has taken the position that while it has conducted a “comprehensive and thorough evaluation” it needed more time to consider the long pending proposal for sanctions. In 2016 and 2017 China had blocked the move as well.
A resolution needs nine votes in favour, and no vetoes by the permanent members of the UNSC that are China, Russia, US, France or Britain to pass. The current temporary members who will vote if and when the resolution comes up are Belgium Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa.
JeM as an organisation was blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2001 after the terror attack on the Indian Parliament.