The US says Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist by the UN. State Department Deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said China’s Opposition to the move counters a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace. Palladino’s remarks came on the eve of a crucial decision by the UNSC on listing Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
Talking to reporters at his daily news conference in Washington, he said US and India work closely together on counterterrorism efforts, and that includes at the United Nations. He noted that their views on the JeM and its founder are well known.
The fate of the proposal to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist will be known in less than 24 hours when the deadline to raise objections to the bid expires. The proposal under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, UK and the US on 27th of February after JeM claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.
The proposal was under the no-objection period and Committee members had a period of 10 working days to raise any objections. The no-objection period deadline ends today. The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. All eyes are on China, which has in the past blocked India’s bids to get Masood Azhar listed as a UN-designated global terrorist.
According to the listing rules of the Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, if no objection is received by the end of the no-objection period, the decision will be deemed adopted, meaning that Azhar will become a UN-designated global terrorist. A UNSC designation will subject Masood Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.