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Saturday March 02, 2024

UN to declare Masood Azhar a ‘global terrorist’ today

Unspotted on Pakistani radar since 2002, Masood Azhar’s organization Jaish-e-Mohammad is already named in Schedule Four by the Government of Pakistan. Since 2008, Pakistan had been blocking the move through China to enlist Masood as a global terrorist. Termed as a ‘technical hold,’ this is was the last blockade on March 13 this year.

May 01, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations is all set to declare Maulana Masood Azhar a global terrorist today after a green signal by Pakistan and China. It also comes after the ‘1267 sanctions committee’ of the UN deleted Masood’s linkage with the Pulwama incident and the unrest in the Indian Occupied Kashmir as propagated by India.

Unspotted on Pakistani radar since 2002, Masood Azhar’s organization Jaish-e-Mohammad is already named in Schedule Four by the Government of Pakistan. Since 2008, Pakistan had been blocking the move through China to enlist Masood as a global terrorist. Termed as a ‘technical hold,’ this is was the last blockade on March 13 this year.

Pakistan’s primary objection to Masood’s listing was that he had no link to the Pulwama attack or the ongoing freedom movement in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, asserting that it is an indigenous freedom struggle resisting Indian occupation and that Pakistan would continue with its ‘moral, political and diplomatic’ support to the oppressed people of Kashmir. Kashmiri youth like Burhan Wani and Adil Daar resorted to the armed struggle when they were brutally tortured and humiliated by Indian security forces. Pakistan also offered complete investigation into the Pulwama incident and forwarded a questioner to New Delhi in response to the latter’s dossier. India has still not answered these questions, and resorted to a dangerous armed conflict on February 26 this year when it violated Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by dropping bombs in Jabaa, KP.

Masood Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist was a move sponsored jointly by the US, the UK and France. After Pakistan’s objection, the US took it to the UN Security Council. In view of China’s exercise of veto power, the US reverted to the 1267 committee – deleting Masood’s links to the Pulwama attack from its ban proposal. A ‘technical hold’ could last for six months, extendable to nine months. China has accused the US of scuttling the progress to resolve the issue by taking it to the UNSC and insisted that it should be resolved at the 1267 Committee. Slammed in 2008, 2016, 2017 and 2019, the ‘technical hold’ by China against Masood Azhar’s listing as a UN-designated terrorist is no more in place. The move could be source of happiness in India and Premier Modi could play it up but it is unlikely to help him get substantial votes as half of the Indian general elections are over.

On the other hand, Pakistan may feel relieved from constant international pressure to act against Masood Azhar. Secondly, Pakistan’s green signal to the UN sanctions regime may help improve its image as a state that has already taken action under its National Action Plan against the proscribed organization.