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European Union begins discussions on declaring Masood Azhar a terrorist

File photo of Masood Azhar. Photograph:( AFP )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 19, 2019, 07.12 PM (IST)

Days after China put on hold the listing of Masood Azhar as a terrorist in the UNSC, discussions have started in the European Union(EU) regarding designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad(JeM) chief as a terrorist.

Confirming the development, Germany embassy spokesperson Hans Christian Winkler in Delhi told WION, "There are discussions for the listing of Masood Azhar by European Union. Germany as part of EU member state is also taking part in the discussion"

On 15th March, France announced it will be putting a freeze on the assets of Azhar and will raise the issue with European Union.
A joint release by French foreign, interior and finance ministry said, "We will raise this issue with our European partners with a view to including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, based on this decree."

Barring China, all UNSC members had agreed to list Masood Azhar as a terrorist under the UN terror list. The proposal was moved by USA, France and UK and supported by 14 of the 15 UN Security Council Members. Australia, Bangladesh, Italy and Japan co-sponsored the move.

China in 2009, 2016, 2017 has put a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar. The hold this time continues for nine months before which Beijing has to take a decision on listing of Azhar.

JeM is the United Nations listed Pakistan-based terror group responsible for the Pulwama terror attack on 14th February that killed more 40 CRPF personnel.