China responds over issue of JeM Chief Masood Azhar listing in UNSC terror list

China responds over issue of JeM Chief Masood Azhar listing in UNSC terror list

BEIJING: Ahead of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions committee meeting later this week, which will take up the case of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) Chief Maulana Masood Azhar, China has stressed “responsible and serious discussion”.

On Saturday, India urged UNSC members to label Azhar as a global terrorist, pointing out that all the members of the group were aware of JeM training camps and the presence of Azhar in Pakistan.

However, China on Monday gave no indication that it is likely to change its stand on Masood Azhar in the UN committee that meets on Wednesday to vote on designating head of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group as an international terrorist.

In response to a question on Beijing’s position in the upcoming March 13 meeting of the UN Security Council’s 1267 committee, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang stuck to the position that the security council, as the “main body” of the UN system does not take its decisions superficially. “First I would like to say that the UNSC as a main body of the UN has strict standards and rules of procedures,” Lu said. He also signalled that the die had not been cast on Azhar’s designation, just yet. “Some reports have knowledge of inside information the UNSC. I don’t know that can be counted as evidence,” Lu observed.

China has on three occasions placed a “technical hold” on Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist in the 1267 committee. Yet another attempt on the JeM chief’s designation, led by the United States, France and Britain has begun following the February 14 Pulwama attack in which more than 40 CRPF personnel were killed.