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China defends its move to put on hold India’s proposal to blacklist Asghar


New Delhi: China, which blocked a bid by India to designate Abdul Rauf Asghar, one of the masterminds of the 1998 IC 814 hijacking, as a global terrorist said on Saturday that it needs more time to “carefully evaluate ” the proposal while claiming it opposes terrorism in all forms. Asghar, brother of Pakistan-based JeM terrorist Masood Azhar, is accused of masterminding a number of terror attacks. India and the United States wanted Azhar to be designated as an international terrorist at the UN Security Council but China, a permanent veto-wielding member and a close ally of Pakistan, stalled the move.

“China takes part in the work of committees in a constructive and responsible manner, according to the committee rules and procedures. Members of the committee can put on hold terrorist designation listing, this is a common practice. The Chinese side needs more time to evaluate and this will be carried out in accordance with relevant rules and procedures,” Chinese envoy Sun Weidong told reporters. 

He, however, added that “China is willing to work with all the countries in the world to combat the menace of international terrorism”. 

Weidong claimed that China “strongly opposes” terrorism in all its forms.” 

The proposal to designate Asghar as an international terrorist was moved by India and the US in the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. India and the United States wanted Asghar to be designated as a global terrorist and be subjected to a global travel ban and the freezing of all his assets. The proposal required the assent of all members of the 15-member UNSC.

On August 11, as many as 14 members of the UNSC agreed to impose sanctions on Asghar but China blocked the move. It was widely believed that China had taken the step as Pakistan is one of its close allies.

Earlier on Tuesday, India`s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj, in an apparent reference to China, said that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests of terrorists without giving any justification must end.

Kamboj made these remarks during the UNSC debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.

China has on repeated occasions put the listing of Pakistan-based terrorists under the UNSC Al-Qaeda and ISIL Sanctions Committee on hold. Earlier in June, India had slammed China after it blocked the proposal to list terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.