Masood Azhar is responsible for a string of terrorist attacks in India. Photograph: (AFP)
China on Tuesday indicated that it would once again block a UN ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar, claiming "terrorism-related" disagreements continued to prevail among members in the UN Committee.
Asked whether there had been any progress in China's repeated technical holds on India's move to get Masood Azhar banned, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, "At present, some members have disagreement over the listing matter. And China stands ready to remain in coordination and communication with the relevant parties on this issue."
"We have talked about our position many times. We believe that the principles of objectivity and professionalism and justice shall be upheld," he added.
China's comments came in response to a question on the Azhar issue ahead of its review by the 1267 Committee of the UN next month.
China says solid evidence is required to implicate the JeM leader.
India has been asserting that it has "solid evidence" since the actions the Pakistan-based terrorist leader are well documented.
China has repeatedly put technical holds on applications by India and other countries including US to declare Azhar a terrorist for his role in the Pathankot terror attack.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who held strategic dialogue with Chinese officials in February here, said, "in the case of Azhar, Jaish itself is proscribed under 1267. So the proof is in 1267 committee action. In this case what he has done, extent of his actions are well documented."
"It is not that the burden of proof is on India to convince. The sponsors (US and other countries) seem to be very well convinced otherwise they would not have taken the initiative to move the proposal," he had said, referring to the US, the UK and France pressing for action on Azhar.
The 1267 Committee consists of members of the UN Security Council.