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UNSC urges all states to help India probe Pulwama attack

Updated February 23, 2019

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UNSC president condemns attack, urges states to "cooperate actively" with India. — Photo courtesy: UNSC website
UNSC president condemns attack, urges states to "cooperate actively" with India. — Photo courtesy: UNSC website

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council has urged all states to “cooperate actively” with New Delhi for bringing to justice all those who were responsible for last week’s attack on soldiers in Pulwama, India-held Kashmir.

Security Council President Anatolio Ndong Mba issued a statement on Thursday condemning the attack and expressing solidarity with the Indian nation and the government. “The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice,” said the statement.

In Islamabad, the National Security Committee (NSC) decided on Thursday to proscribe the Jamaatud Dawa and its charity wing, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, as part of measures to tighten the noose around extremist and militant groups in the country.

The members also urged “all states, in accordance with their obligations under international law and Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the government of India and all other relevant authorities in this regard”.

Describing the attack as a “heinous and coward suicide bombing”, the UNSC statement noted that “Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility” for it.

JeM is already banned in Pakistan.

The Security Council reaffirmed that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”.

The members reiterated that “acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed”.

They also reaffirmed the need for all states to “combat by all means, in accordance with the charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts”.

The UNSC statement resembles a similar statement issued by the US State Department last week, which also noted that Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the attack. The US statement, however, had identified Jaish as a “UN -designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group”, a description missing from the UN resolution.

Diplomatic observers in Washington said Islamabad and its allies, particularly Beijing, had worked hard to keep any reference to Pakistan out of the Security Council statement.

The US statement had also said Washington was “resolutely committed to working with the Indian government to combat terrorism in all its forms”. Like the UNSC, the United States also urged “all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists”.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, pointed out on Friday that the reference to Jaish in the UNSC statement was only in “general terms” and “does not represent a judgement”.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing that the Chinese government was following developments after the Pulwama attack.

“Yesterday, the UN Security Council issued a press statement that mentioned a particular organisation, but only in general terms. It does not represent a judgement on the attack,” Geng said.

The US media, however, reported that without Beijing’s endorsement the UNSC statement could not have been released as China is a permanent member of the council.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019