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India Took Long-Drawn Diplomatic Route to Get China to Agree on Masood Azhar’s Listing

India’s biggest takeaway has come from the fact that it was supported by not just US, UK and France but also by 14 of the 15 UNSC members.


Updated:May 2, 2019, 10:43 AM IST
Masood Azhar
File photo of JeM chief Masood Azhar.

New Delhi: It was in 2009 that India, for the first time under the UPA government, moved a proposal in the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the Sanctions Committee. Ten years on, it has finally succeeded in getting on board all countries at the Security Council to get Azhar listed.

Only last month, China had yet again put a technical hold on listing the JeM chief as a global terrorist, not willing to depart from its previous stand on his designation. Yet again, it said, it needed more time in analysing the evidence put forth. India, on its part, said that it had received unprecedented global support, which was a huge win.

After 2009, India once again pushed for the designation in 2016, something that was co-sponsored by the US, UK and France. Two years ago, in 2017, these three countries moved the proposal.

Cut to 2019, the proposal was once again moved by the US, UK and France. However, in an unprecedented move, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement on February 21, condemning the terror attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama. It was a huge development considering the UN had, till then, steered away from making any statement regarding attacks in Kashmir. The statement further mentioned Jaish-e-Mohammed, strengthening India’s case to put forth its case.

China had time till March 13 to decide how to use its veto-yielding powers with regards to the designation, and it did so by putting a technical hold on Azhar’s listing. India’s biggest takeaway, however, has come from the fact that it was supported by not just US, UK and France but also by 14 of the 15 United National Security Council members.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj mentioned that the proposal for Azhar’s designation was also co-sponsored by Australia, Bangladesh, Italy, Japan—all non-members of the Security Council.

India, too, in its statement thrusted upon the global support it had received, but refused to name China as the country being a hindrance in the process. Not mentioning China was a significant change in India’s stand as it had previously (in 2016) mentioned that it noted “with concern” China’s decision to block Azhar’s listing.

Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s visit to Beijing last month was also seen as India’s revved up efforts at the diplomatic level. Not only that, Gokhale also made visits to the US and Russia, making sure the message was sent across.

Diplomacy, many would say, moves slowly. Here too, it was no different but it moved in India’s favour.

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