Frustrated US defies rules to move UNSC resolution to list Masood Azhar | Pakistan Today

Frustrated US defies rules to move UNSC resolution to list Masood Azhar

UNITED NATIONS: Stung by China’s rejection of the recent move to put Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar on the United Nations (UN) sanctions blacklist, the United States (US) on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members in a bid to achieve that objective, a move that diplomats saw as circumventing well-established procedures and rules.

On March 14, China placed a “technical hold” on the French-US-British move in UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee seeking to designate Azhar as a “global terrorist” in the wake of the Pulwama incident, saying more consultations on the matter were needed.

On his part, Prime Minister Imran Khan had stated that Pakistan would cooperate in investigating the February 14 suicide bombing in which over 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed and that action would be taken against the Jaish chief if “actionable evidence” was provided by India.

But in an obvious attempt to embarrass China, which has always extended moral and principled support to Pakistan, the US took the unusual step of going directly to the UNSC with a resolution calling for imposing a travel ban and freezing the assets of Masood Azhar.

China has always advocated that all matters in the 1267 committee should be resolved through consultations amongst the relevant parties.

But it seems that over the years, the committee has become politicised and controversial. For instance, the lists of terrorists submitted by Pakistan, as part of its international obligation, were blocked by the US, according to informed sources.

Pakistan had sought action against several terrorists, including Mullah Khorassani and Maulana Fazlullah, who had escaped to Afghanistan.

A total of seven amendments to the listing submitted by Pakistan were blocked on various pretexts, reflecting that the selective approach in the committee.

In addition, Pakistan efforts to seek condemnation of Indian and Afghan interference in Pakistan were blocked.

Diplomats were appalled by the US move which they said was an attempt to take out its frustration and to please India. It is not clear when the US draft would come up for a vote.

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