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China Blocks India, US Move in UN to Ban JeM Deputy Chief Abdul Rauf Azhar

By: Abhishek Jha

CNN-News18

Last Updated: August 11, 2022, 21:53 IST

New Delhi, India

Except for China, all other 14 member states of the UN Security Council were supportive of the proposal. (File photo: Reuters)

Except for China, all other 14 member states of the UN Security Council were supportive of the proposal. (File photo: Reuters)

This came a day after India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj told a Security Council meeting chaired by China that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end

rChina has placed a technical hold on the proposal to list Abdul Rauf Azhar, deputy chief of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and younger brother of Masood Azhar, under the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee.

A proposal was moved by India and backed by the US as co-sponsor, to list Abdul Rauf in the committee. Except for China, all other 14 member states of the UN Security Council were supportive of the listing proposal. The committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decision by consensus.

A senior diplomatic source called the Chinese action “unfortunate” and said, “The sanctions committee has been prevented from playing its role due to political considerations. China’s actions expose its doublespeak and double standards when it comes to the international community’s shared battle against terrorism.”

Only on Tuesday, India’s Permanent Ambassador to UN Ruchira Kamboj expressed disappointment at countries putting a technical hold on “Genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world”. Calling out the “double standards and continuing politicisation” of the sanctions committee, she said “credibility of sanctions regime” had been rendered to an “all-time low”.

While briefing the Security Council on “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”, Kamboj said that the effective functioning of the Sanctions Committees requires them to become more transparent, accountable, and objective. “The practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end,” she had stated.

This is not the first time that China has obstructed the listing of terrorists in the 1267 Sanctions Committee. In June 2022, it placed on hold a joint proposal by India and the US to list the deputy chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Abdul Rehman Makki, on the sanctions list. Makki has been involved in raising funds, recruiting, and radicalising youths to resort to violence and planning attacks in India, including the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.

“There is incontrovertible evidence for both these listing proposals. Both individuals have also been sanctioned by the US under its domestic legislation. Such politically motivated actions by China, in nearly every listing case of a Pak-based terrorist, undermine the entire sanctity of the working methods of the UNSC Sanctions Committees,” said the diplomatic source.

Jaish-e-Mohammed is already a listed terrorist organisation under the UN. The Security Council listed JeM on October 17, 2001, after finding its association with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The committee accepted that JeM was involved in the financing, planning, and other activities for supplying arms for al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Abdul Rauf Azhar is currently the deputy chief of the proscribed terror group JeM. His elder brother Masood Azhar was listed in the aftermath of the deadly Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 security personnel and injured several others in 2019.

After his release in exchange for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines IC-814 flight in 1999, Masood Azhar went on to form Jaish-e-Mohammed. He had been involved in the planning and execution of numerous terror attacks in India including the attack on the Indian Parliament (2001) and the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot (2016).

In fact, the listing process of Masood had also faced years of delaying tactics by China as it for long blocked India’s efforts to get the Pakistan-based head terror mastermind blacklisted. Masood was listed on May 1, 2019, only after China dropped its objection.

The Indian proposal to ban Abdul Rauf Azhar would have meant a global travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo. Such a move has to be agreed to by all 15 members of a Security Council Sanctions Committee. China also happens to be the President of the UN Security Council during this month.

The US Treasury listed Azhar in 2010, accusing him of urging Pakistanis to engage in militant activities and organise suicide attacks in India.

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first published:August 11, 2022, 20:06 IST
last updated:August 11, 2022, 21:53 IST