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US moves fresh resolution on Masood Azhar in UNSC

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March 29, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have expressed serious reservations to the resolution that has been circulated in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at a time when the matter was already under consideration by the world body’s sanction committee of 1267.

The United States in its latest resolution at the UNSC asked for blacklisting Maulana Masood Azhar. Islamabad and Beijing both separately took on the US action through their foreign offices on Thursday. China accused the US of undermining the authority of the UN anti-terrorism committee by "forcefully moving" a resolution in the UNSC to list JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, saying America's move only "complicates" the issue. The US,supported by France and the UK, has moved a draft resolution in the UNSC to blacklist the group's chief, two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to list the Maulana under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

Asked about the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing Thursday that Washington move only complicates the issue. "This is not in line with resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the Committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to the solidarity and only complicates the issue. We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this resolution draft," Geng said.

Here in Islamabad the Foreign Office on Thursday said the Indian Paper on the Pulwama attack did not contain any evidence regarding the involvement of Pakistan or Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. The Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, in his weekly press briefing, said a preliminary probe by Pakistan into the Pulwama suicide bombing after receiving the Indian dossier revealed no links of any Pakistani to the attack.

A 10-member team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) started probe into the Pulwama incident, in which more than 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed, soon after Pakistan received the Indian dossier, the spokesperson said. No Pakistani had any links to the attack, according to preliminary probe into the incident. Pakistan has asked India for further details and evidences relating to the attack, he added.

Dr Faisal said the Indian dossier named more than 90 people. But there was no evidence linking JeM Chief Masood Azhar or Pakistan to the attack. De-escalation has not yet happened with India in the wake of the Pulwama incident. Pakistan has repeatedly offered to hold dialogue with India for resolution of all disputes, but the Indian side has never reciprocated, the spokesperson said. He said Pakistan has informed India that it is ready to cooperate if they have any actionable intelligence and evidence that would sustain the threshold of Pakistani courts.

When asked to comment on the United States’ latest resolution at the UNSC to blacklist Masood Azhar, he clarified that it is a technical issue and the appropriate forum to address it is the UNSC 1267 sanctions committee. He regretted that the resolution has been circulated in the UNSC at a time when the matter was already under consideration by the 1267 committee. Such efforts to circumvent the established machinery for this purpose will only weaken the sanctions regime, he said.

“We want to amicably resolve this issue in the committee through consultations. Any action outside the sanctions committee will undermine the integrity of the sanctions regime and must be avoided,” the spokesperson said, adding that Pakistan remains committed to fulfilling its obligations under the UN sanctions regime.

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