Modi's election main factor behind US rush to blacklist Masood Azhar

Modi's election main factor behind US rush to blacklist Masood Azhar
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UNITED NATIONS: The United States (US) is pushing to put Masood Azhar on the United Nations (UN) sanctions blacklist more to boost Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's electoral chances than the merits of the case, according to several diplomats following the developments at the UN.

"It's seems the US wants to use this ploy as a gift to Modi as he faces challenges in his bid for re-election," a senior diplomat said. Modi, he said, had lost on the military front, but the US effort is now aimed at improving his domestic image on the diplomatic side.

Having failed to list Azhar in the 1267 sanctions Committee, the US circulated a resolution two days ago among Security Council members amidst a frenzied diplomatic campaign by India at the UN.

Many members of the Security Council believe this rush for a listing has more to do with the upcoming Indian election than any other factor as Modi faces an uphill struggle at the ballot box.

One diplomat told APP on the basis of anonymity that the listing has become an immensely political issue, especially when China has clearly voiced it opposition to the US move.

Even at the consultations convened on Friday by the United States on its resolution, many Security Council members suggested that the issue should be dealt by the relevant UN body -- the 1267 committee -- instead in the Council.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Gen Shuang said,"At the UNSC sanctions committee, the practice of putting hold is in line with the stipulations of the committee."

He reiterated that China recently put forward a technical hold to a proposal at the sanctions committee with a purpose to conducting a comprehensive and in-depth assessment so as to give enough time and space for the dialogue and consultations between the parties.

At the UN on Thursday, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi also warned against the politicization of the UN's counter-terrorism machinery, saying such a course would only compromise the integrity of the system.

Ambassador Lodhi has been holding a number of meetings with key diplomats here to explain Pakistan's position on the issue.

It is still not clear when the US will bring the resolution to a vote.

APP

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