Amid the global outrage over the attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, India and the United States will once again push to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations.
According to official sources, the government will hold talks with the US to bring another resolution to the UN Security Council for a ban on Azhar, who masterminded the Pathankot airbase attack and continues to operate freely in Pakistan despite his group being outlawed in 2002.
China has repeatedly rebuffed India’s persistent demands of branding Azhar a global terrorist, a tag that would he bring with it a global travel ban and an assets freeze.
China, a veto-wielding member of the UNSC and a close ally of Pakistan, has consistently blocked moves first by India and later by the US, the UK and France to list Azhar as a global terrorist by putting technical holds.
On Friday too, the Chinese government signalled it would not change its stand despite the JeM claiming responsibility for Thursday’s attack that left at least 40 CRPF soldiers dead and five others critically wounded. It also was one of the last major nations to join in the condemnation of the terror strike.
When asked about China’s stand on listing of Azhar as a global terrorist, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang, said, "JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner.”
India hopes that with US support, it can put pressure on China to back the resolution on listing Azhar as a terrorist. The US, in the last couple of years, has been wary of bringing another such proposal until it is assured of support from China.
But in the wake of the attack, it asked Pakistan to freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets of the UNSC-designated terrorist networks and their leaders. It said it also said it fully supports actions to prevent the outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed from conducting future attacks.
India, too, had not pushed very hard for the ban on Azhar in the last one year as it focused more on improving ties with China after the Doklam stand-off. The Pulwama attack, however, has changed India’s stand and it has urged the international community to support the proposal.
"This heinous and despicable act has been perpetrated by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation proscribed by the United Nations and other countries. This terror group is led by the international terrorist Masood Azhar, who has been given full freedom by Government of Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India and elsewhere with impunity,” the MEA said in a statement.