US moves UN for Masood Azhar’s ban; China again puts a ‘hold’

Masood-AzharA significant bid by the US in the UN for designating Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist has been stymied by China which has again opposed the ban against the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief.

The American proposal came barely weeks after India’s efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in December last.

According to senior government sources, the US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal at the UN’s Sanctions Committee 1267 in the second-half of last month to proscribe Azhar.

The proposal, which was finalised after “consultations” between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said.

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“However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal,” a source said, adding the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

The “hold” remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a “block”, thereby, ending the life of the proposal.

UN Sanction Committee’s listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.

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