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Masood Azhar Designated as Global Terrorist by UNSC

This comes after China said designating JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist will be “properly resolved.”

Updated
India
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Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations on Wednesday, 1 May. This comes after the world body's Sanctions Committee held a crucial meeting amid indications that China could lift its hold on the proposal to blacklist Azhar.

“Big, small, all join together,” India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, posted on Twitter.

Calling the designation of Azhar as a "siginificant outcome", Akbaruddin said:

“We have been at it for several years. Today, the goal stands achieved. (We are) Grateful to many countries who supported us, ie, the USA, UK and France, and also several others in the council and outside the council. Would like to thank permanent representative of Indonesia.”
Syed Akbaruddin, as quoted by ANI

Catch the live updates on Masood Azhar’s designation here.

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How Did the UNSC Members React?

Soon after the designation, China, said that it took the decision after it found no objection to the listing proposal by the US, the UK and France following a careful study of the "revised materials".

Welcoming China's decision to lift its hold on the proposal to blacklist the Pakistan-based JeM chief, a senior Trump administration official during a conference call with reporters said after 10 years China has done the right thing by lifting its blockade.

"I think China seems to have understood that it was increasingly important that it's actions on the international stage on terrorism matched it's rhetoric,” the White House official said on the condition of anonymity.

France, too, said in a statement, "French diplomacy has been relentlessly pleading for sanctioning Azhar, head of the terrorist group responsible, notably, for the Pulwama attack last February. France had adopted national sanctions against Masood Azhar on 15th March."

Meanwhile, government sources cited by ANI said that the JeM chief was put under house arrest at Markaz Shubhan Allah in Pakistan's Bahawalpur post the Balakot airstrikes, and has been recently shifted to a safe house in Islamabad.

This development comes a day after Beijing said that the vexed issue of designating Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN will be "properly resolved.”

China, in March, had put a hold on a fresh proposal by the US, UK and France to impose a ban on the chief of the JeM, which claimed responsibility for the deadly 14 February Pulwama terror attack. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

The Many Times India Moved to Designate Azhar as Terrorist

In 2009, India had moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar as “global terrorist.”

In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again.

However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

"I can only say that I believe that this will be properly resolved," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had told a media briefing in Beijing.

He was responding to questions on the media reports that China had reportedly consented to lift its technical hold on a fresh proposal moved by France, the UK and the US to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

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Assets Freeze, Travel Ban & More

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities. The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals.
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Under the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related material of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The efforts to resolve Azhar’s listing issue gathered momentum last week with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing to attend China’s 2nd Belt and Road Forum held from 25-27 April.

During the visit, Khan held talks with Xi, besides meeting Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan during which India-Pakistan tension following the Pulwama terror attack as well as listing of Azhar reportedly figured.

An official statement of China issued after Xi-Khan meeting on Sunday said the Chinese President had expressed hope that Pakistan and India can meet each other halfway and improve their relations.

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