‘Pulwama reference cut for UN listing of Azhar’

U.K. played a key role, says diplomat

May 12, 2019 01:39 am | Updated 01:39 am IST - NEW DELHI

Simon McDonald.

Simon McDonald.

Concessions were made to secure the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a UN Security Council sanctioned terrorist, Britain’s most senior diplomat Simon McDonald said on Saturday, asserting that the United Kingdom had played a “central role” in ensuring that the listing went through after talks with New Delhi and Islamabad. Mr. McDonald was in New Delhi for consultations on the India-U.K. strategic partnership.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu , Mr. McDonald, Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the U.K. government, did not deny a suggestion that China had agreed to the listing of the JeM chief after all references to terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Pulwama strike, were dropped. However, he said the “prize” of listing Mr. Azhar was more important than the “rubric” or details of the decision.

Mr. McDonald also said Pakistan should be given “space” and “time” to take action against terror groups.

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