In a dramatic move, China has once again blocked India’s efforts at the UN to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack. Importantly, in 2001 UN banned the JeM but presently India’s efforts to ban Azhar after the Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, one of the five permanent members of the UN group with veto powers, did not allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.
China's Permanent Representative Liu Jieyi asserted that Azhar did not meet "the Council's requirements" to be considered a terrorist.
In February this year following attacks on the IAF base at Pathankot on January 2, India had written to the UN seeking immediate action to list Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
The Pakistan-based JeM Chief Masood Azhar now does not qualifying as a terrorist, is now saved from facing the UN sanctions. Importantly, the action by the panel, popularly known as the 1267 committee after the Council's resolution number setting it up, would have required Pakistan and other countries to freeze his assets and ban his travel.
At the committee's meeting all the other 14 members of the Council supported placing Azhar on the list, but China put a hold on it, which is in effect a veto. China requested the UN committee, which is considering a ban on the chief of the Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM, to keep on hold the designation just hours before the deadline.
India has called it a "hidden veto". India has criticised Beijing's latest action to prop up Pakistan-based terrorists, alleging that the Chinese action was in “consultation” with Pakistan, which is not on the UN committee.
This is the second time that China has come to the aid of Pakistani terrorists in the sactions committee. Last June, China blocked India's demand for taking action under the Council's anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for freeing Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the Lashkar-e-Taiba mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed.