In a major disappointment for India, China collaborated with Pakistan to block New Delhi’s proposal to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
Following the attack on the Indian Air Force Base in Pathankot, killing seven Indian military personnel, India called on the United Nations for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
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According to sources, 14 out of 15 countries were willing to designate Azhar, but China alone decided to go against all the others in the bid.
China did not give any reason on their move in their written communication which just says that they want to put a hold on India’s proposition.
The US, UK and France had strongly supported the move and the other nations had also expressed their consent to proceed with the action on Azhar.
But China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, collaborated with Pakistan to block the bid, sources add.
China is now the only country that has stood up for Masood Azhar more than once.
Ahead of the Nuclear Summit 2016, India had expressed its desire to ensure that Azhar was proscribed by the UN.
“As regards the attack by JeM, we assure you that we will pursue the cause for justice. It is not a cause that we will leave or have forgotten about. I can assure you that we are proceeding with our efforts to ensure that this organisation which is already proscribed by the UN also has its leaders proscribed and that is the primary effort right now,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, told ANI.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Joint Investigating Team (JIT) that is probing the Pathankot attack reportedly told Indian officials that it is yet to find evidence to link Azhar to the terror attack.
The Indian investigators had asked the JIT for the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief’s voice samples but were told that Azhar’s role in the incident is still being verified.
India has in the past said Azhar and his brother Abdul Asghar Rauf were directly linked to the attack, which was planned at the JeM headquarters in Bahawalpur.