India disappointed, China again blocks UNSC bid to ban JeM Chief Masood Azhar for 4th time: In detail

Giving setback to India, China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to designate Pakistan’s Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist".

India termed the move of China’s putting a technical hold on the proposal as “disappointing”.

Fourth proposal to designate Masood Azhar as "global terrorist"

The proposal was moved by P3 countries (France, United Kingdom and United States) on February 27, 2019 to the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council in wake of Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based terror group JeM that killed over 40 CRPF personnel in India.

The members of the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee were given a time limit of 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal.

If there is no objection to the proposal by the end of the no-objection period, the decision is deemed to be adopted.

The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end on March 14, 2019 (Indian Time). However, just before the deadline, China blocked the proposal with a ‘technical hold’ and asked for "more time to examine" the proposal.

The technical hold is valid for up to six months and it can be extended by three months thereafter.

Pulwama Terror Attack

The move came days after a suicide bomber killed an Indian army convoy on February 14, 2019 of over 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which is led by Masood Azhar.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India launched a major diplomatic action against Pakistan, holding briefing for envoys of 25 countries, including five permanent UNSC members - the US, China, Russia, the UK and France, to highlight Pakistan's role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

China’s blocking of all four proposals

This proposal was the fourth such bid at the UNSC in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. China had in the past blocked India's bids thrice to get Azhar listed as a global terrorist.

In 2009, India alone moved a proposal in the UNSC to designate Azhar as a global terrorist. In 2016, India moved the proposal along with the P3 - the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar. In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal.

However, on all occasions China blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee

The Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee is one of three UNSC committees dealing with counter-terrorism. The other two are - Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the Security Council Committee.

The 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee aims to impose strictures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

The committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members.

What would be the outcome of listing of Azhar as a terrorist?

The listing of Azhar as a terrorist would be a significant diplomatic victory for India and would have resulted in restrictions on his travel and freezing of his assets.

All member states freeze the funds and other financial assets and resources of designated individuals and entities without delay.

The travel ban prevents the designated individuals from entering into or passing by all states through their territories.

All states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer of the arms and weapons from their territories to the designated individuals and entities.

Jaish-e-Mohammed's chief Masood Azhar

  • Masood Azhar is the founder and the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, and he meets the criteria for designation as the global terrorist by the United Nations.
  • Azhar is a former leader of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahadin and had given a call to volunteers to join the fight in Afghanistan against Western forces.
  • He was the mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot, India in January 2016.
  • JEM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks such as 2008 Mumbai attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.

Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan

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