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China may block Indian bid to blacklist Masood Azhar

Updated October 31, 2017

BEIJING: China on Monday signalled it would again block an Indian request at the United Nations to blacklist the head of a Pakistani militant group because there was no consensus, a move likely to cause recrimination in New Delhi.

India, backed by the United States, has been trying to get Maulana Masood Azhar on a UN list of groups with ties to Al Qaeda, blaming his group for a series of attacks in India, including one on its parliament in 2002 and another last year on an airbase.

But China, a member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly put a technical hold on the Indian request, the latest of which is due to end this week.

Such decisions must be based on cast-iron evidence and fully backed by members of the UN panel charged with implementing resolutions relating to sanctions on militant groups and individuals, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“China proposed a technical hold, the aim of which was to give more time for the committee members to discuss it and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” Ms Hua told a daily news briefing. “But regrettably, the committee has yet to reach consensus.”

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2017