China again blocks moves to sanction JeM chief

China again blocks moves to sanction JeM chief

China has once again stalled a move by United States, United Kingdom and France to bring terror organization Jaish-e-Mohammad's chief Masood Azhar under United Nations' sanctions.

China placed a “technical hold” on the process just before the deadline for objecting to the proposal moved by the US, UK and France to impose the UN sanctions on the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief ended at 00:30 hours early on Thursday.

“We are disappointed by this outcome,” Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi. “This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization, which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir February 14, 2019,”

This is the fourth time China blocked a move to bring the JeM chief under international sanctions, ostensibly to save its “all-weather” friend Pakistan from embarrassment.

Azhar lives at Bahawalpur in Pakistan.

China has been blocking moves to bring several other terrorist leaders based in Pakistan under the Security Council's sanction.

The latest move to bring the Azhar under United Nations sanctions was initiated by France, United States and United Kingdom – the three of the five permanent members of the Security Council – after a suicide bombing by a JeM terrorist killed over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, resulting in escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.

Russia, another permanent member of the UNSC, too extended support to the latest move to get Azhar designated by a committee of the council as an individual linked to Taliban, Al Qaeda and its now-deceased chief Osama bin Laden and to bring him under full-spectrum UN sanctions, sources in New Delhi said. China remained the only holdout among the permanent members of the Security Council.

New Delhi reached out to all the five permanent and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council over the past few days, seeking support to the move by the US, UK and France to bring Azhar under UN sanctions. Germany and several other non-permanent members extended support and co-sponsored the proposal.

China, however, did not budge from its stand.

“I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue,” the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chinese Government, Lu Kang, said in Beijing, when a journalist asked about China's position on the move initiated by France, UK and the US to impose sanctions on the JeM chief.

“The discussions, I want to say must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue,” he said.

The US on Tuesday called upon China to support the move at the Security Council to impose sanctions on China.