Masood Azhar: Jaish-e-Mohammed leader listed as terrorist by UN

Masood Azhar,Jaish-e-Mohammed,United Nations

United Nations on Wednesday designated Jaish-e Mohammed founder Masood Azhar as a global terrorist for being associated with Al-Qaida

In March 2019, the U.S. had moved a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council, supported by France and the UK, to blacklist Masood Azhar.

"Our position is in line with the statements of Prime Minister Khan who clearly stated that there is no space for any proscribed organization or its affiliates to operate from Pakistani territory, our resolve for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our National Action Plan", he said.

Pakistan on Wednesday said it would "immediately enforce the sanctions" imposed by the United Nations on JeM chief Masood Azhar and agreed to his listing after all "political references", including attempts to link him to the Pulwama attack were removed from the proposal.

1267 Committee listed Maulana Masood Azhar today.

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On Sunday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said they are "open to the listing" of Azhar as long as he is not linked to the Pulwama attack. "We call on the worldwide community to fairly and justly see Pakistan's endeavours and contributions in counter-terrorism and step up dialogue and cooperation with the country", he said.

Beijing had staunchly opposed the Azhar listing to be taken directly to the powerful United Nations body as it would have had to publicly explain its stand on its reservations to list Azhar, whose group JeM has already been designated as a terror outfit by the United Nations, before exercising its veto. It defended its move saying it was only following procedure and needed more time to review the proposal. At the same time, US, UK and France have been continuously holding negotiations with China at the UNSC to withdraw its hold on including Azhar's name in the UNSC sanctions list. "Another feather to the already heavy hat of PM @narendramodi Ji who has scored countless diplomatic victories in the last 5 years".

The statement of the case had also noted that Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al Mujahadin and he had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces. It was in first in 2009 that New Delhi tried to get Azhar as a United Nations listed terrorist.

Last week, ahead of the second Belt and Road Forum, Gokhale met Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing where India shared "all evidence" of terrorist activities by Azhar, the Ministry of External Affairs had said.

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The United States, Britain and France had initially asked the Security Council's Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee to subject JeM founder Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze in February. China said it will continue to "engage in the discussion" and "review of this issue in a constructive manner".

The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee 1267 listed Masood Azhar, placing a ban on immediate basis.

The UNSC's Sanctions Committee 1267 made the declaration after China, which had blocked the proposal four times earlier, lifted its "technical hold" amidst intense pressure from the Security Council's other permanent members like the USA, the United Kingdom and France.

China - a long-time ally of Pakistan - had previously blocked the sanctions committee from imposing sanctions on Masood Azhar in 2016 and 2017 but agreed to the proposal on Wednesday. In 2016, India again proposed the listing and it was co-sponsored by UK, US, France. "This marks a high point for the Prime Minister's foreign policy", he tweeted.

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