JeM chief Masood Azhar added to UN terror list after China removes objections

Updated 02 May 2019


UNSC places Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar to its sanctions list. — Dawn/File
UNSC places Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar to its sanctions list. — Dawn/File

The United Nations’ 1267 Sanctions Committee on Wednesday placed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar on its global terror list after China removed its objection to his listing.

The committee on the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda announced in a press release the designation of Azhar over his organisation's ties to Al-Qaeda.

India had been seeking Azhar’s listing since 2016, but the latest push came after the Feb 14 Pulwama attack on the Central Reserve Police Force in India-held Kashmir, which was claimed by the JeM.

The Indian resolution was backed by UNSC permanent members the US, United Kingdom and France. China had been halting the process by applying technical holds.

However, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said today that Beijing removed its objections after the proposal was "revised", following which Azhar's listing went through.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal confirmed that "Pakistan will immediately enforce the sanctions" imposed on the JeM leader "as it always does with UN" cases.

"This entails a ban on foreign travel, assets freeze and arms embargo," the FO spokesperson said, adding: "Pakistan maintains that terrorism is a menace to the world, including the Indian state-sponsored terrorism against innocent Kashmiris in IOK."

Dr Faisal said that "the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee listing is governed by clear rules and its decisions are taken through consensus. Pakistan has always advocated the need for respecting these technical rules and has opposed the politicisation of the committee.

"Earlier proposals to list Masood Azhar failed to generate the requisite consensus in the Sanctions Committee as the information did not meet its technical criteria. These proposals were aimed at maligning Pakistan and the legitimate struggle of the people of Indian occupied Kashmir ... and were thus rejected by Pakistan.

"The current listing has been agreed after all political references were removed, including attempts to link it with Pulwama and maligning the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris in IOK for realisation of the right to self-determination."

Dr Faisal said that it would be "false and baseless" on Indian media's part to present the development as a "victory for India and validation of its stance".

The FO spokesperson reiterated Pakistan's efforts to fight extremism as well as its continued stance of not letting any banned outfits operate from its territory.

"Our position is in line with the statements of Prime Minister Imran Khan who clearly stated that there is no space for any proscribed organisation or its affiliates to operate from Pakistani territory, our resolve for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our National Action Plan," he said.

"The Government of Pakistan has since January 2019 accelerated the implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism and extremism. The Plan inter alia includes a range of actions against UN proscribed entities and individuals. Notwithstanding the challenges, progress is being made and further work will continue in line with national consensus and interest."

With additional reporting by Mohammad Imran