UNSC designates Masood Azhar as global terrorist China withdraws its opposition after consultations with Pakistan


Observer Report


Jaish-e-Muhmamad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar has been designated as a global terrorist under the United Nations Security Council resolution 1267.
Azhar was blacklisted by UNSC sanctions committee after Pakistan and China dropped their objections to the latest proposal put forward by the US, UK and France to designate Masood as terrorist.
Since 2008, the US attempted four times to list Azhar under the UNSC resolution 1267 but every time its move was thwarted by China.
“The Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’ish), al Qaeda, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities approved the addition of the entry specified below to its ISIL (Da’ish) and al Qaeda Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017) and adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,” the UNSC said in a statement following the decision.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference on Wednesday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal confirmed the development, saying the UNSC decision entails three steps i.e. assets freeze, arms embargo and travel restrictions.
Pakistan rejected earlier proposals to list the JeM chief as they lacked technical criteria and were aimed at maligning Pakistan and hindering the movement in occupied Kashmir, said Dr Faisal and added that the proposals had a political agenda. The FO spokesperson further said India is presenting this new development as its victory and confirmation of its narrative, but these claims are unfounded and false. He said recent proposals to list Azhar were motivated by Pulwama attack and aimed at undermining the legitimate freedom movement in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.
“Once politically motivated attempts to link it with the Pulwama incident and the legitimate Kashmiri struggle for the realisation of the right to self-determination were removed, the current amended listing proposal was approved,” he added.
China has called on the international community to fairly and justly see Pakistan’s endeavours and contributions in countering terrorism, and step up dialogue and cooperation with the country.
Earlier in the day, a Pakistani official had said China withdrew its opposition after consultations with Pakistan. He further added that Pakistan agreed to the listing after its objections were addressed.
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang has also reacted on the development, saying China always believes that the relevant work should be carried out in an objective, unbiased and professional manner and based on solid evidence and consensus among all parties.
“We commend the Pakistani government’s and people’s efforts in fighting terrorism and extremism and their great endeavours and sacrifices to this end,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan recently attended the second BRF in China and met President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan, while both sides also signed many bilateral cooperation documents.