China on Tuesday blocked a proposal by the United States (US) to designate Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, Times of India reported.
The US, supported by the United Kingdom and France, moved a proposal at the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee to blacklist the JeM chief in what is seen as a show of solidarity with India.
India has accused JeM and its leader of masterminding several attacks, including the assault on the Pathankot air base in Jan 2016, and has been trying to get Azhar added to the list following the attack. JeM has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not Azhar.
The US proposal finalised after 'consultations' between Washington and New Delhi stated that JeM is a designated terror outfit, so its leaders cannot go scot-free, according to sources cited by ToI.
China opposed the move by putting a hold on the proposal, a source said, just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for action on the proposal.
The hold can remain in place for six months and may be extended by three months. It can be converted into a block during this time period, effectively dismissing the proposal.
India's Ministry of External Affairs said it had been informed of the development. "The matter has been taken up with the Chinese government."
India had requested that Azhar be added to the list in Feb 2016 and had received strong backing from all other members of the council. But China, which put a hold on the move in April, and extended the hold in October, had blocked the proposal in December.
If Azhar is blacklisted by the Security Council, he will face a global travel ban and asset freeze.