File photo of Masood Azhar. Photograph:( AFP )
France, along with the US and UK, had proposed Azhar's listing. Russia has supported the listing. That leaves China as New Delhi's only worry.
The United Nations Security Council's 1267 committee will decide on March 13 whether Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar should be listed as an international terrorist. (The vote will take place at 3 pm, New York time or 1.30 am on March 14, Indian Standard Time.)
India has urged the UNSC to put Azhar on the UN terror list.
The UN-listed, Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama attack that had left over 40 CRPF personnel dead in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
"All members of the UNSC are aware about Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps in Pakistan and about the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad and his presence in Pakistan. We call upon all members of UNSC to list Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under 1267 UN Sanctions Committee," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.
Azhar's listing as an international terrorist will put a freeze on his assets and put him on a global no-flight list. His listing will also help New Delhi point out how Pakistan has been an epicentre of terrorism.
France, along with the United States and the UK, had proposed Azhar's listing in the last week of February. Russia has supported the listing.
Deputy spokesperson of the US State Department Robert Palladino, reacting to Azhar's possible listing, said, "We will continue to work with the sanctions committee to ensure that the list is updated and that it’s accurate."
That leaves China as New Delhi's only worry.
Beijing has blocked Masood Azhar's listing three times since 2016 when India first called for it.
Asked about Azhar's listing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Monday that the matter can only be resolved in a "responsible manner".
"China has all along participated in relevant discussions in a responsible manner and in strict accordance with the rules of procedure and provisions of the 1267 committee. China will continue to communicate and work with relevant parties in a responsible manner so as to properly resolve this matter. Only by making a decision through responsible and serious discussions can we find a lasting solution."
While pressure has been growing on Islamabad — from Washington to Kabul — to act on terrorists, China has been reluctant so far to call out its all-weather ally. The reluctance has been primarily due to economic considerations which include CPEC — the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which provides China with connectivity to west Asia.