In a major diplomatic victory for Narendra Modi government, in the midst of crucial Lok Sabha elections, the Pakistan-based dreaded terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar was finally declared a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, today, after China lifted its technical hold, bowing down to international pressure.
Confirmation of Masood Azhar’s listing came from India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin, who tweeted, “Big,small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in @UN Sanctions list. Grateful to all for their support.”
Hours before the UN’s decision, Pakistan appeared to have reconciled to the development. Government sources in Islamabad said Pakistan did not object to the terror tag for Masood Azhar any longer. Yesterday, Beijing had said that the vexed issue of designating the Pakistan-based Azhar as a global terrorist by the U.N. will be “properly resolved”.
Late April, India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale held talks in Beijing with top Chinese officials, including foreign minister Wang Yi, on key issues including the listing of the JeM chief.
In March, China had put a hold on the proposal to blacklist Azhar after France moved a resolution following the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF troopers. Beijing had said it needed more time to “study” the matter but added that it was “sincere” about building better ties with India. It was the fourth time China had blocked such a move.
In the run up to Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist, China and the U.S. had sparred with each other over the methodology after Washington said it would use “all available resources” to blacklist the JeM founder. In the beginning of April, China had reiterated that it was “working hard” to resolve the matter of designating Azhar, as a global terrorist and strongly criticised Washington’s statement about using “all available resources” to do so as counterproductive.