Charge sheet unlikely to sway China on Masood Azhar

December 20, 2016 12:35 am | Updated 02:40 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) charge sheet against Masood Azhar in the Pathankot attack may bolster India’s case for designating the Jaish-e Mohammad chief at the U.N. Security Council’s 1267 Al-Qaeda/Taliban sanctions committee, but it is unlikely to bring about a change in China’s stand, or have “international implications”, for now, officials said.

On December 31, China’s “technical hold” on designating Azhar for sanctions is set to expire, and unless the Chinese government removes the hold, India’s request will be denied.

India’s case has focussed on the fact that Azhar is the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad that was designated a terror entity on October 17, 2001, two weeks after it claimed responsibility for the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly bombing, and he should be included in the financial and travel sanctions imposed.

Sharp retort

“While our collective conscience is ravaged everyday by terrorists in some region or another, the Security Council gives itself nine months to consider whether to sanction leaders of organisations it has itself designated as terrorist entities,” India’s permanent envoy to the U.N. Syed Akbaruddin had said in a sharp statement in November this year.

However, China says it believes the designation of Azhar is a bilateral issue for India and Pakistan to address outside of the U.N. Security Council.

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