Continuing its anti-India stand, China on Thursday, extended its technical hold on a proposal at the United Nations to designate Masood Azhar, chief of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, as a global terrorist by three months.
Beijing’s position on the Pathankot attack mastermind is likely to escalate tensions between India and China whose armies are locked in a standoff in Doklam area of Sikkim sector.
China had in February this year blocked the US move to designate Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN. The deadline for China to take action on its technical hold was till 2 August.
If China would not have extended the technical hold, Azhar would have automatically been designated under the UN as a terrorist. The three-month extension will now be valid until 2 November.
The US had early this year, along with the UK and France, approached the UN’s sanctions committee for the ban on Azhar. However, it was stopped by Beijing which again put a six-month technical hold on it.
The US proposal came after India’s efforts last year to get Azhar listed as a global terrorist were scuttled by China.
China has been blocking India’s move stating that there is no consensus in the UNSC 1267 which enforces a global ban on terror groups and their leaders with affiliations to Al- Qaeda and Islamic State. The JeM has already been in the banned list.
This is the second year that China has blocked attempts to bring about a UN ban on Azhar which would force Pakistan to act against him.
China first blocked the Indian move for six months followed by three months technical hold, which ended on 31 December last year leading to the lapse of the application.
China was the only member in the 15-nation UN body to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.