Sources told the Times of India that on Thursday, China requested the UN Sanction Committee, which is considering to impose a ban on Azhar, to keep on hold the designation.
The Indian submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The team then sent it to all the members, sources said. “All were told that if there are no objections the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline,” sources said.
“However, hours before the deadline, China requested the Committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief,” the sources continued.
Indian government sources claimed, the Chinese action was in “consultation” with Pakistan, which is not on the UN Committee.
India after Pathankot airbase attack, in February wrote to the UN calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the al Qaeda Sanctions Committee. “We will be moving the 1267 Sanctions Committee to also include the name of Masood Azhar on the sanctions list,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said.
India also told the UN Sanctions Committee that not listing Azhar would expose it and other countries in South Asia to threats from the terror group led by him. Swarup noted that India had already submitted to the UN’s Sanction Committee a fresh list of 11 terrorists from Pakistan-based groups affiliated to al Qaeda, Taliban and other outfits responsible for terrorism in the country.
The UN banned Jaish-i-Mohammad (JeM) in 2001 but India’s efforts to get restrictions imposed on Azhar did not fructify as China didn’t allow them to be imposed.