China on Wednesday again blocked move to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad's (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in UN Security Council, making it the fourth such move since 2009.
The proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after the Pulwama terror attack was carried out by a suicide bomber belonging to the JeM that led to heightened tension between India and Pakistan.
Reacting to China's move, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed disappointment. It asserted that the committee was not able to come to a decision on the proposal on account of a member placing the proposal on hold. It added that India will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on Indians are brought to justice.
"The ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (1267 Sanctions Committee), upon completion of the no-objection period on 13 March 2019, was not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold," said an MEA statement.
"We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organisation which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019. We will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice," added the statement.
"We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors," further added the statement.
China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, and an "all-weather ally" of Pakistan has blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee in 2009 and 2016. In 2017, Beijing also blocked a move by the US, the UK and France to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
A UNSC designation would have subjected the terrorist to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.
The travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through their territories by designated individuals.
Under the arms embargo, all states 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 material of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
Hectic diplomatic and political parleys had preceded the closely-watched March 13 deadline as New Delhi reached out to member countries of the 15-member UNSC.
In the wake of the terror attack in Pulwama, India launched a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including from the five permanent UNSC members -- the US, China, Russia, the UK and France -- to highlight Pakistan's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
India also handed over to Pakistan a dossier on "specific details" of involvement of the JeM in the Pulwama terror attack.