Masood Azhar is responsible for a string of terrorist attacks in India. Photograph: (AFP)
India said the only country that was opposing its move to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist was China
India Thursday hit out at China for its remarks that there was no consensus over the US’ proposal to ban Pathankot attack mastermind and JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UN, saying if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be a consensus as well.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said the matter has been taken up with the Chinese Ambassador here and a similar demarche is being made in Beijing.
Observing that the proposal was not moved by India but by three permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, the UK and France, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup described it as a “classic counter-terrorism proposal” and hoped that China will also come around to accept this view.
“It is our understanding that this was a classic counter- terrorism proposal meant to proscribe a dreaded terrorist leader Masood Azhar whose organisation the Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been proscribed by the UN 1267 Committee.
“We don’t view this as a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan but as an issue of global counter-terrorism. We hope that eventually, China will also come around to accepting this view. Obviously, if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be consensus also,” he said.
India’s sharp reaction came a day after China defended its decision to block the US-initiated proposal in the UN fordesignating Azhar as a global terrorist, saying the “conditions” have not yet been met for Beijing to back the move.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang had also told a media briefing in Beijing that his government resorted to this move to allow the “relevant parties” to reach a consensus.
“We put out technical hold after we had several rounds of consultations with India. We hope relevant parties have enoughtime to consult with each other to make sure that the decision made by the Committee will be based on consensus representing the broad international community,” he said.
Swarup also said the proposal was submitted on January 19 after induction of four new members to the UN Security Council.
China has put a “hold” on the US-initiated proposal, which comes barely weeks after India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN was scuttled by Beijing last December. This has prompted India to take up the matter with the Chinese government.