Behind the scenes: How India’s relentless push ensured Masood Azhar was banned
New Delhi, May 02: It began in 2009 and the closure came in 2019. India had first moved a proposal to designate Maulana Masood Azhar as a terrorist before the United Nations in 2009.
The move was blocked by China. The next time India made such a move was in the year 2016. A year later the P3 nations made a similar proposal, but the Chinese block continued.
It was in February 2019 that the US, UK and France moved a proposal in the UNSC. In March China put the proposal on hold. On March 28, the US supported by France and UK directly moved a draft resolution in the UNSC. A month later, China said that there has been some progress on the issue and on May 1 the hold was lifted and Azhar was declared a global terrorist.
India was relentless in its efforts and getting China to lift its hold especially in the wake of it considering Pakistan an all weather friend was not easy. The talks were led on various levels and officials of the PMO, Home Ministry and the Ministry for External Affairs were all involved in it.
India constantly engaged with the US, UK and France to get the ban imposed. On March 21, there was a clear ray of hope when the UNSC condemned the Pulwama attack. This was the first time that the UNSC had condemned a terror attack in Kashmir on security personnel.
What furthered India's cause was the mention of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in its statement. This gave India and the rest of the nations the required impetus to push the case further.
Further India also managed to get the US to exert immense pressure on China.
While China had put the technical hold for a period of six months, Delhi continued to pursue the issue. It was confident that the nations it was speaking with too would pressurise China to lift the hold. This led to the US moving a fresh proposal, without deciding to wait for the six month period.
One of the key player in this entire issue was foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale. He visited the US, Moscow and Beijing to discuss the issue. He was finally able to convince these nations including China that putting the issue on hold would not serve any purpose.
Sources tell OneIndia that it was the relentless push which finally ended in this decision.