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How Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar can be declared a terrorist

The proposal to designate Azhar under the global terrorist list was moved by France, UK and US on February 27.

How Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar can be declared a terrorist
People beat posters of JeM chief Masood Azhar during a protest against Pulwama terror attack, in Ahmedabad on February 15, 2019. (PTI Photo)
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NEW DELHI/UNITED NATIONS: In less than 24 hours, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1267 sanctions committee will take the crucial call of listing Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. 

The French-led proposal, backed by the United States and the United Kingdom, will be passed if no UNSC member nation objects to Azhar's enlistment under the 1267 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List by 12.30 am Indian Standard Time (3 pm New York Time) on March 13. 

But it all depends on China.

Beijing, which has blocked India's bid to list Azhar as a UN-designated terrorist on three prior occasions, has hinted on following the same route.

To understand why the proposal to designate Azhar as an international terrorist is being deemed crucial, we need to understand the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC.

1267 ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee

The 1267 and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee was established in 1988. The committee was renamed as 1267  ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions committee. The criteria for adding a name or group to the list is to provide evidence of “acts or activities indicating that an individual, group, undertaking or entity is associated with ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida.”
The Sanctions List currently contains the names of 262 individuals and 83 entities and was last updated on 28 February 2019. Hafiz Saeed, al-Qaeda, JeM, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Boko Haram are some of the names on the list.

As per the UNSC, these include:

-* Participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of

-* Supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to

-* Recruiting for; or otherwise supporting acts or activities of, ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof.

What do the sanctions include? 

There are three chief sanction measures under the 1267 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions committee:

1. Assets Freeze

All states and nations will have to immediately freeze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

2. Travel Ban

All states and nations are required to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals

3. Arms Embargo

All states and nations are “required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities,” says the UN.

If the Azhar is adopted in the 1267 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions committee list, he becomes a UN-designated global terrorist and the sanctions come in to force with immediate effect. In other words, Pakistan will have to immediately freeze funds and other financial assets of Azhar, prevent his movement to other states and monitor his activities. 

The proposal to designate Azhar under the global terrorist list was moved by France, UK and US on February 27. It was under the no-objection period for 10 working days, the deadline of which ends at 3 pm Wednesday (12:30 am IST). The UN sanctions committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. 

Following February 14 terror attack in Pulwama, India has been involved in hectic diplomatic and political parleys to highlight Pakistan's role in terrorism.