'Technical hold' on Masood ban done after consultations with India: China

China has repeatedly stonewalled India's efforts to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist by the UN. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Beijing, China Feb 08, 2017, 04.03 PM (IST)

China today defended its decision to block the US' proposal in the UN Security Council to designate the chief of the terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar a global
terrorist, saying the "conditions" have not yet been met for Beijing to back the move.

Asked about the significance of US pushing for a ban against Azhar, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang clarified that "the committee has its own set of discussion rules".

Lu Kang told the press that Beijing had put a technical hold for the third time on the attempt to designate Azhar a terrorist since it wanted to allow "relevant parties" to reach a consensus.

Lu also claimed that the decision to put a technical hold on India's applications to designate Masood Azhar a terrorist was done after "several rounds of consultations with India".

"We put out technical hold after we had several rounds of consultations with India. We hope relevant parties have enough time 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.

"Last year 1,267 Committee of the UN Security Council discussed the issue regarding listing Masood (Azhar) in the sanctions list. There were different views with no consensus reached," Lu

"As for the submission once again by relevant countries to list him in the sanctions list, I would say the conditions are not yet been met for the Committee to reach a decision," he said.

"China has put the request on technical hold, to allow the relevant parties more time to consult with each other. This is also in line with rules of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council
and the rules of the discussion of the Committee," he said.

"So, whoever submitted the request we believe all the members of the committee will act in line with regulations of the Security Council and its affiliations," he said.

Asked about whether China's relations with India would be impacted, he said, Beijing and New Delhi "have exchanged views" on the issue. "We don't hope it will have a negative impact on our

The foreign ministry spokesperson also defended the criticism that his country was continuously blocking the move at the behest of Pakistan.

"China's action in the Security Council and its affiliations are in line with the regulations and procedures," Lu said.

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 were scuttled by Beijing last December. This has prompted India to take up the matter with the Chinese government.

On whether the issue on the ban on Azhar can be resolved this year since it has dragged into the second year, Lu said, "It is not the length of time."

"It is a matter of time whether a consensus can be reached on the basis of full consultations." Asked to identify specific reasons for blocking Azhar's ban, Lu said, "Consultations in the
Security Council and internal discussions of its affiliations has its own set of discussion rules."

The US, supported by two other permanent members of UN Security Council -- UK and France- moved the proposal at the UN's Sanctions Committee 1267 to proscribe Azhar last month.

The proposal, which was finalised after "consultations" between Washington and New Delhi, said since JeM is a designated terror outfit, its leaders cannot go scot-free. It was submitted just a day before the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. The JeM was designated a terrorist outfit by the UN in 2001. 

India wrote to the UN last year in February calling for immediate action to list Azhar under the al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, after the attack on the IAF base at Pathankot in January 2016.

It met with stiff opposition from China which twice put a "technical hold" on India's efforts in March and October last year before blocking India's request in December 2016.

(WION with inputs from PTI)