U.S. was concerned that its “more ambitious list” for designation would be pre-empted by Indian proposal to 1267 committee
The United States was dismayed when India moved a proposal for a U.N. Security Council designation of the Jamat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist organisation, concerned that this would stymie its own efforts to push through a “more ambitious list” of designations.
The UNSC's 1267 Committee, or the Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, designated the JuD on December 11, 2008, a day after India moved the proposal. It also designated the JuD leader Hafiz Saeed, the group's operations commander Zakhiur Rehman Lakhvi, and two others associated with it, Haji Mohammed Ashraff and Mohammed Ahmed Bahaziq.
The U.S. eventually threw its weight behind the designation – else the proposal could not have been approved — but a diplomatic cable sent on December 10, 2008 (182185: confidential) by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, reveals its unhappiness at being pre-empted by India.
Ted Osius, Political Counselor at the New Delhi Embassy, cabled that at a meeting with Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary T.C.A. Raghavan that day, he had expressed “dismay at GoI's actions at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, when it publicly called for designation of Jamat-ud-Dawa.”
The diplomat explained to Mr. Raghavan this would “complicate” the U.S. effort to “get an even more ambitious list of designations through the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee.”
The cable does not mention the inclusions in that “ambitious list.”
Mr. Osius wrote that “Raghavan defended [India's] action and dismissed [U.S.] concerns.” The Indian official argued that the U.S. and Indian proposals were “not mutually exclusive,” and that it did not matter which one the 1267 Committee acted on first.
According to Mr. Osius, the Joint Secretary told him India hoped the move would further pressure Pakistan to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks. At the same time, it was a message to the Indian public that its government “is getting things done.”
Mr. Raghavan explained to the U.S. diplomat that “if China and Pakistan intend to co-operate, designations would move forward.”
Two previous attempts by the U.S. to have the JuD designated — in 2006, and in 2008, months before the Mumbai attacks — had failed. On both occasions, China put the proposal on “technical hold,” demanding to see more evidence against the group and the individuals.
Unanimity on the designation was reached only after the Mumbai attacks. The U.S. forced Pakistan to cooperate in the effort, and China removed its “hold.”
On the basis of the cable, The Hindu made independent enquiries earlier this month about the dissonance between the U.S. and India on this issue. An official source who was familiar with the deliberations in the sanctions committee at that time confirmed that the U.S. indeed had ‘‘wanted to do things at its own pace,'' and was upset by the Indian proposal.
(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.)