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October 21, 2019
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Masood Azhar added to UN terror list after China removes objections

NEW YORK: The United Nations has added Jaish-e-Muhammad (JEM) chief Masood Azhar in the global terror list after China removed its technical hold on his listing.

The UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee on Wednesday decided to add the militant group’s head after the earlier repeated moves were frustrated by China.

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, the 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 Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader “as it always does with UN” cases.

“This entails a ban on foreign travel, asset 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 realization 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”.

“Our position is in line with the statements of Prime Minister Imran Khan who clearly stated that there is no space for any proscribed organization 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.”