NEW DELHI: China on Thursday blocked India's call to ban Jaish-i-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations (UN), Times of India reported.

Hours before the deadline, China requested the UN’s Sanction Com­mittee, which was considering a ban on Azhar, to keep the designation on hold, the report quoted highly placed sources.

On February 18, a list of 11 individuals and one organisation "linked to terrorism in India", was submitted to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (the militant Islamic State group) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.

The UN banned Jaish in 2001 but India’s efforts to get restrictions imposed on Azhar after the Mumbai attacks did not bear fruit because China did not allow them to be imposed.

"We will be moving the 1267 Sanctions Committee to also include the name of Masood Azhar on the sanctions list. It is a great anomaly that the organisation Jaish-i-Mohammad is lis­ted, but not its leader," external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said earlier in February.

Related: The return of Masood Azhar

Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) investigating the Pathankot airbase attack in India told Indian interlocutors that it is yet to find evidence linking Masood Azhar to the terror attack, The Hindu reported on Wednesday.

According to The Hindu, the JIT was still verifying whether the Jaish founder had any role in the storming of the base.

Following Indian accusations earlier this year that militant group Jaish-i-Mohammad was responsible for the attacks, Pakistani authorities cracked down on the group, sealing a Jaish-run seminary in Sialkot and taking group leader Masood Azhar into protective custody.

The Indian Express said that Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish chief’s voice samples, indicating he was the prime suspect in the January 2 armed attack at the Indian Air Force base.

While the JIT probes the attack, reciprocity is being discussed by India. "We will ask for access to Masood Azhar," Sharad Kumar, the chief of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), told NDTV.

A formal request would be sent after the five-member Pakistani team returned home, he said.

Explore: All six militants killed in Pathankot airbase siege: Indian defence minister

Opinion

Editorial

Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...
A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...