No Mention of Pulwama or J&K: UN Security Council Explains Why It Banned JeM Chief Masood Azhar
Image for representation.
New Delhi: The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday said Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s continued association with a proscribed organisation was the primary reason why he was designated as a global terrorist.
The move came after India and other countries ratcheted up pressure on Pakistan in the wake of the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing, which was claimed by Azhar-led JeM. Forty CRPF jawans were killed in the incident, which had soured bilateral ties between the two countries.
However, the Security Council’s resolution made no mention of either the Pulwama attack or incidents of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi was listed on 1 May, 2019 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 2368 (2017) as being associated with Al-Qaida for ‘participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of’, ‘supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to’, ‘recruiting for’, ‘otherwise supporting acts or activities of’, and ‘other acts or activities indicating association with’ the Jaish-e-Mohammed,” the world body said in a statement.
The UN said that JeM had been listed as a banned outfit on October 17, 2001, for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating… on behalf or in support of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban and for supplying them weaponry".
The United States, the United Kingdom and France had moved a fresh proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist in the Security Council's 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee in February, just days after the Pulwama attack.
Even as India proclaimed Azhar’s listing as a diplomatic triumph, a number of Opposition leaders, including Shashi Tharoor of the Congress, pointed out that references to the Pulwama terror attack and terrorism in Kashmir had been dropped by the UN.
While the Congress welcomed the UN decision, the party expressed disappointment that the listing "does not mention Pulwama and Jammu and Kashmir" while recounting Azhar's role in terror activities.
The 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.
While China had placed a technical hold on the proposal after it was moved in the aftermath of Pulwama, it appears to have relented after increasing global pressure on Pakistan.