India on Friday said it noted with regret the technical hold by China on its joint bid with the United States to list Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) deputy chief Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist. There should be no double standards in dealing with terrorists, said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in what was a veiled dig at the international community and China’s “double speak” on terrorism.
Abdul Rauf Azhar, who is also known as Rauf Asghar and Abdul Rauf Asghar, is accused of carrying out several terror attacks on India. He is the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
Bagchi said India will continue to pursue its principled position of bringing the terrorist to justice, including through UN Security Council’s sanction regime. “This is an issue our permanent representative made a statement on; flagged the concern categorically. We note with regret that a technical hold has been placed on the listing proposal for Abdul Rauf Asghar,” Bagchi said.
India further said the practice of placing holds and blocks without a justification must end. It also called out the international community’s inability to speak unitedly on the “collective battle against terrorism”. “It is unfortunate that the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice on our collective battle against terrorism. There should be no double standards in dealing with terrorists. The practice of placing holds and blocks without giving any justification must end,” Bagchi said.
The MEA said Abdul Rauf Azhar was actively involved in terrorist attacks on India: hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814 in 1998, attacks on the Indian parliament in 2001 and on the Indian Army camp in Kathua in 2014, as well as the Pathankot IAF base attack 2016. He is also named in the chargesheet of the 2019 Pulwama attack in which 42 CRPF personnel died along with his brother Masood Azhar.
The MEA criticised the sanctions committee of the UNSC, saying its “double standards and politicisation” have brought down its credibility. “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 politicisation have rendered credibility of the sanctions committee at an all-time low,” Bagchi said.
Talking about how India viewed China now, the MEA spokesperson said in the context of the two countries, India had consistently maintained the necessity of mutual respect, sensitivity and interest, as the basis of development of ties. Bagchi added that India’s relevant policies were well-known and consistent, and did require reiteration.
China on Wednesday thwarted a joint proposal at the UNSC by India and the US to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar. All other 14 member states of the top UN body supported the move. The Chinese action came less than a month after Beijing blocked a similar joint proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba Abdul Rehman Makki.
Reacting to the block, India said China’s move was expected. It also brought in Pakistan’s intent behind the move. The JeM deputy also handles the operations in Kashmir. China, however, said, “We placed a hold because we need 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.”
In the past, China has repeatedly blocked proposals to designate Pakistan-based terrorists. After China blocked the proposal to designate Makki as an international terrorist, government sources said that the action ran counter to Beijing’s claim of combating terrorism.
(With PTI inputs)