NEW DELHI: China on Thursday blocked India’s call to ban Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar at the UN, Times of India reported.
Hours before the deadline, China requested the UN’s Sanction Committee, which was considering a ban on Azhar, to keep the designation on hold, the report quoted highly placed sources.
On February 18, a list of 11 individuals and one organisation “linked to terrorism in India”, was submitted to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (the militant Islamic State group) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee. The UN banned Jaish in 2001 but India’s efforts to get restrictions imposed on Azhar after the Mumbai attacks did not bear fruit because China did not allow them to be imposed. “We will be moving the 1267 Sanctions Committee to also include the name of Azhar on the sanctions list. It is a great anomaly that the organisation Jaish-e-Muhammad is listed, but not its leader,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said earlier in February.
While the JIT probes the attack, reciprocity is being discussed by India. “We will ask for access to Azhar,” Sharad Kumar, the chief of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), told NDTV.
In another development, Saudi Arabia and the US imposed joint sanctions targeting Lashkar-e-Taiba, the two countries announced on Thursday.
The sanctions targeted four individuals and two affiliated organisations, including James Alexander McLintock and the Pakistan-based Al-Rahmah Welfare Organisation, which the US Treasury Department said was a front for Al Qaeda.
Also listed were Abdul Aziz Nuristani, the Jamia Asariya Madrassa, Naveed Qamar and Saudi Arabia-based Ijaz Safarash, who was accused of arranging travel documents and financial transfers for Lashkar-e-Taiba from the kingdom.