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Masood Azhar: How additional evidence led China to cave in

By Anuj Cariappa
|

New Delhi, May 04: China was given a set of additional evidence about Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar's involvement in terrorist activities, days after it blocked a fresh proposal at the UN on March 13 to designate him as a global terrorist, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

On Wednesday, the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council declared him as a global terrorist after China removed its technical hold on a proposal moved by the UK, France and the US. Following the UN announcement of Azhar's listing, China said it took the decision after carefully studying the "revised materials".

File photo of Maulana Masood Azhar

Sources, however, did not clarify whether the additional evidence given to China was on Azhar's involvement in terror strikes in India including the Pulwama attack, or his activities elsewhere.

There was no reference to the Pulwama attack in the UN notification banning Azhar.

With Azhar banned, Pak will use Mohammad Rauf, Athar Ibrahim to run JeM

France, the UK and the US had moved the fresh proposal to declare Azhar as global terrorist by the UN in the wake of the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, China put a technical hold on the proposal on March 13, blocking it for a fourth time to designate Azhar.

Initially, China felt it was not provided with sufficient evidence about Azhar's involvement in terror activities, sources said, adding additional evidence was given to Beijing after it put a technical hold on the proposal to list him as global terrorist.

Asked about the impact of India's strike on a JeM training camp in Balakot on February 26, sources said there was no reason to doubt it.

The diplomatic sources also said that the European Union is likely to conclude the process soon to designate Azhar as a terrorist although the UN ban on him will cover member countries of the grouping.

Germany initiated the move at the European Union, days after China blocked the proposal at the UN to ban him in March.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.

An assets freeze under the sanctions committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

Behind the scenes: How India's relentless push ensured Masood Azhar was banned

In 2009, India first moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar a global terrorist.

In 2016 again, India moved the proposal with the P3 -- the US, the UK and France -- in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again.

However, on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC, blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

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