New Delhi: China is expected to remove its hold on the listing of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in coming few weeks, multiple sources have told Zee Media. Though a time frame has not been decided, sources on the condition of anonymity said that they are quite positive and hopeful.
China had put a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist on 13 March at the 1267 sanctions committee of the UNSC. Bejing has 9 months left to decide and remove the hold after the 13 March decision.
The development comes even as the UK last week was optimistic that Azhar will soon be declared a global terrorist by the United Nations even as it called for "verifiable" and "irreversible" action against terror groups by Pakistan.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith had on Friday 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 mentioning China, he had said, "We are waiting to see whether the country that is so far been resisting agreeing to its listing will lift that objection." He added that he hoped, "that we will get to that conclusion" of listing Azhar.
The Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was in China last Monday and gave evidence regarding JeM's involvement in terror attacks in India. During his visit, he met Chinese officials including Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
After the visit, India's External Affairs Ministry had said, "We have shared with China all evidence of terrorist activities of Jaish-e-Mohammad and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorized bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar. "
China has also been making positive comments on the listing of Azhar in last few weeks with China MOFA saying, "things are moving towards a settlement".
Jaish E Mohammad was responsible for the 14 February Pulwama attack that killed more than 40 security personnel. The US, along with UK and France had proposed for a listing of Azhar as an international terrorist in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack. A United Nations Security Council resolution was also proposed by the US at UNSC after China's hold on listing in March.
Listing of Azhar at UNSC will put travel, an arms embargo and freeze his assets which will impact his activities.