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UK optimistic Masood Azhar will be listed as international terrorist

Asquith said, "We are strong supporters of listing of Masood Azhar for a decade. So that we will get to that conclusion shortly. I do remain optimistic that it will be resolved and very much it will be."

UK optimistic Masood Azhar will be listed as international terrorist

New Delhi: The UK has expressed optimism that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar will be soon listed as an international terrorist at the United Nations. Speaking to reporters in Delhi, British High Commissioner Dominic Asquith said, "We are strong supporters of listing of Masood Azhar for a decade. So that we will get to that conclusion shortly. I do remain optimistic that it will be resolved and very much it will be."

Without taking China's name he said, "We are waiting to see whether the country that is so far been resisting agreeing to its listing will lift that objection. Hoping, that we will get to that conclusion of listing Azhar."

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China had put a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist on March 13 at the 1267 sanctions committee of the UNSC. JeM has taken responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.

The UK, along with US and France has put a proposal for listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in the aftermath of Pulwama. A resolution was also proposed by the US at UNSC after China put a hold in March.

China in the past few weeks has been giving positive comments on the listing of Azhar, with China MOFA saying, "things are moving towards a settlement". The Indian foreign secretary was in China on Monday and gave evidence regarding JeM's involvement in terror attacks in India during his meetings with Chinese officials, including foreign minister Wang Yi.

A statement from India's external affairs ministry said, "We have shared with China all evidence of terrorist activities of JeM and its leader, Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorised bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar."

'Pakistan must act on terror'

Asked, if the UK played a role in defusing tension between India and Pakistan after Pulwama, the high commissioner said, "We were very actively involved. We were certainly talking to a variety of key actors in Pakistan to make it clear on what we expected in terms of Pakistani action against terrorist groups who are operating around the line of control."

Calling for a "verifiable" and "irreversible action" against terror groups, the British HC said, "don't mistake natural British modesty with what we say in public with a lack of activity".