While all other 14 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday agreed to impose sanctions on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Abdul Rauf Azhar, only one country — China — stood out by coming to the defence of the terrorist and placing a hold on the proposal.
India and the United States wanted Azhar to be designated as an international terrorist and be subjected to a global travel ban and freezing of his assets, a proposal that would need to be agreed by all members in the 15-nation UNSC body. But China, a permanent veto-wielding member of the UN and a close ally of Pakistan, delayed the move by putting a hold on it.
Reuters cited a spokesperson for China’s mission to the United Nations as saying that the delay was done as China needed “more time to study the case.”
“Placing holds is provided for by the Committee guidelines, and there have been quite a number of similar holds by Committee members on listing requests,” the Chinese spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Azhar has been under US Sanctions since 2010 after the US accused him of urging Pakistanis to engage in terrorist activities and organise suicide attacks in India.
He was accused of being involved in the planning and execution of numerous terror attacks, including the 1999 hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft in Afghanistan’s Kandhar, the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and the 2016 attack on the Indian air force base in Pathankot.
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.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj made these remarks during a UNSC debate on Tuesday on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
She said, “It is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold. Double standards and continuing politicization have rendered the credibility of Sanctions Regime at an all-time low.”
China on repeated occasions has put the listing of Pakistan-based terrorists under the UNSC Al-Qaeda and ISIL Sanctions Committee on hold. Earlier in June, India slammed China after it blocked the proposal to list terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.
Ambassador Ms Kamboj said India has suffered from the menace of terrorism for decades and has learned to counter this threat with resolve and firm determination.
“We hope that the international community will stand united in addressing this threat to humanity with zero tolerance,” she added.
A spokesperson of the US mission to the United Nations told Reuters, “The United States respects other countries’ needs to verify that a sanctions proposal meets their domestic evidentiary threshold to justify a listing at the UN.”
“The United States values cooperation with our Security Council partners to effectively use this tool in an apolitical way to stop terrorists from exploiting the global order to do their misdeeds,” the spokesperson added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)