India fumes as China blocks UN sanctions on Pak terrorist
SUBHASHIS MITTRA - Wide Angle
Much to the chagrin of India, China has on predictable lines delayed its proposal to sanction at the UN Security Council Abdul Rauf Azhar - a top commander in the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.
Slamming China for placing a technical hold on the joint proposal by India and the US on listing of Pak terrorists, New Delhi reacted strongly and dubbed the move as "most uncalled for".
New Delhi says China's action has exposed its double standards, when it comes to global fight against terrorism. India has noted with "regret" that a "technical hold" has been placed on the proposal, adding the international community has been unable to speak in one common voice in fighting terrorism. India asserted that it will continue to pursue its principled position of bringing such terrorists to justice.
In fact, in the past too, such politically motivated moves by China in every listing case of Pak-based terrorists reflected "undermining" of the entire sanctity of the working of the UNSC's Sanctions Committees.
The proposal to designate Abdul Rauf was moved in the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee and the documents related to it were circulated among all the member nations. All other 14 member states of the top UN body supported the move.
Abdul is the younger brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar and has been involved in planning and executing numerous terror strikes in India including the hijacking of Indian Airlines aircraft IC814 in 1999, the attack on the Parliament in 2001 and the targeting of the IAF base in Pathankot in 2016.
The designation of Abdul Rauf would have resulted in a global travel ban on him as well as requiring Pakistan to freeze his assets and to cut off his access to weapons and related materials.
The US Department of Treasury had in December 2010 designated "Abdul Rauf Azhar, a senior leader of Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM), for acting for or on behalf of JeM."
The US said as a senior leader of JeM, Abdul Rauf Azhar "has urged Pakistanis to engage in militant activities.
He has served as JeM's acting leader in 2007, as one of JeM's most senior commanders in India, and as JeM's intelligence coordinator."
In 2008 Azhar was assigned to organise suicide attacks in India. He was also involved with JeM's political wing and has served as a JeM official involved with training camps.
The latest development came less than a month after China - a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council and an all-weather friend of Pakistan - blocked a similar joint proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based deputy leader of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba Abdul Rehman Makki.
Makki too has been involved in raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youths to resort to violence and planning and executing attacks in India, including the Mumbai terror strikes.
Both the terrorists have already been sanctioned by the US under its domestic legislation.
After China blocked the proposal to designate Makki as an international terrorist, New Delhi said that the action ran counter to Beijing's claim of combating terrorism. Makki is the head of the political affairs of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jamat ud-Dawa (JuD), and served as head of LeT's foreign relations department.
The LeT has been involved in major attacks in India such as the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Red Fort Attack in 2000, Rampur CRPF Camp attack in January 2008, Khanpora (Baramulla) attack in 2018, Srinagar attack in June 2018 and Gurez/Bandipora attack in 2018.
In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar. In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 - the US, the UK and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016. In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again.
On all occasions, however, China has blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the sanctions committee.
It was only in May 2019, that India won a huge diplomatic win at the UN when the global body designated Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist".