ISLAMABAD -UNS : The United Nations listed on Wednesday proscribed Jaish-e-Mohammed’s chief Masood Azhar among banned individuals on its global terror list, placing a restriction on foreign travel, arms embargo and freezing of assets.
The UN Security Council Sanctions Committee 1267 listed Masood Azhar, placing a ban on immediate basis. The Foreign Office said that the current listing proposal has been agreed after all political references, including attempts to link it with Pulwama incident and maligning the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris and their right to self-determination, were removed.
Pakistan has always advocated the need for respecting these technical rules and regulations and has opposed the politicisation of the Sanctions Committee, said the official statement. On February 27, France, United Kingdom and US had presented a resolution demanding a ban on Masood Azhar, on which China had raised an objection on technical basis.
China’s Foreign Ministry on the subject said: “China has been communicating with relevant parties in a constructive and responsible fashion. Recently, relevant countries revised and re-submitted the materials for the listing proposal to the 1267 Committee. After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, China does not have objection to the listing proposal.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that Pakistan has made great contributions for countering terrorism and it deserves full recognition of the international community. The statement said that China will continue to firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorist forces.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal hailed the decision, calling it a diplomatic win by Pakistan against baseless Indian political references. “Huge diplomatic win by #Pakistan against #India – baseless, political references, linking #MasoodAzhar with the legitimate Kashmiri struggle for right to self-determination, removed,” he wrote.
Pakistan also announced to immediately enforce the UN sanctions imposed on the JeM leader. The government points out that it has agreed to the sanctions on Wednesday because previous proposals did not meet the technical criteria as they included factors unrelated to the listing rules and were thus rejected.
The current amended listing proposal was approved, once politically motivated attempts to link it with the Pulwama incident and the legitimate Kashmiri struggle for the realisation of the right to self-determination, were removed.
Past governments had proscribed him under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act for some time, even before his case for listing was taken up by the Sanctions Committee. Neither Pakistan nor China as in the past objected to the India-sponsored proposal at the United Nations on Wednesday.
“Pakistan maintains that terrorism is a menace to the world, including the Indian state-sponsored terrorism against innocent Kashmiris in IHK,” the Foreign Office stated. Pakistan had been taken into confidence during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China that Beijing was no longer to stop JeM from being declared a global terrorist.
The UNSC in a statement said, “The Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’ish), al Qaeda, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities approved the addition of the entry specified below to its ISIL (Da’ish) and al Qaeda Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017) and adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.”
The Foreign Office was prepared for Wednesday’s listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist and in a media briefing advocated the need for respecting UN technical rules and regulations while saying that the politicisation of the Sanctions Committee should be avoided.
“However, the earlier proposals to list Masood Azhar failed to generate the requisite consensus in the Sanctions Committee as the information did not meet its technical criteria. These proposals were aimed at maligning Pakistan and the legitimate struggle of the people of Indian Held Jammu and Kashmiri for the realisation of the right to self-determination and were thus rejected by Pakistan, which has always maintained that resolution of any listing issue should be by consensus, through objective dialogue and consultations, within the 1267 Committee framework and most importantly without politicisation”, said the spokesman at the briefing.
Giving the background, the spokesman added that the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee listing is governed by clear rules and is based on strict technical criteria. “All decisions of the Committee are taken through consensus. The Committee procedures allow members to place technical holds to provide additional time for further discussions to reach a common understanding on matters under its consideration. Many members have placed technical holds on various listing proposals,” he explained.
“Our position is in line with the statements of Prime Minister Khan who clearly stated that there is no space for any proscribed organisation or its affiliates to operate from Pakistani territory, our resolve for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our National Action Plan,” said the spokesman.
The spokesman reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to counter terrorism and underscored that no country in the world can match Pakistan’s efforts, achievements and sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.