News Desk |
Masood Azhar, leader of the proscribed Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has been listed as a global terrorist by the Sanctions of Committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday. This decision has come forward after a prolonged politicization and scuffle between the permanent members of the UNSC, with the US pushing to list Masood under the UNSC Sanction Committee 1267 since 2008 and Beijing’s repetitive attempts to thwart this decision.
The latest resolution has come in the wake of the Pulwama attack, for which New Delhi held JeM responsible. China had placed a technical hold on the proposal of designating Masood as a global terrorist earlier in March, but after a recent initiative backed by the US, UK, and France, China did not voice any further objections.
The UN headquarters in New York issued a statement that read, “Mohammad Masood Azhar Alvi was listed on 1 May 2019 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 2368 (2017) as being associated with Al-Qaida for terrorist activities”. Masood Azhar will now be subjected to a travel ban, arms embargo, and his assets will be frozen.
No Links with Kashmir Uprising & Pakistan’s Support
This resolution has come forward after a groundbreaking diplomatic understanding between China and the P5 members who have now agreed to put an end to all references to the Kashmiri struggle for freedom under a brutal Indian occupation, the Pulwama attack, and the role of Pakistani institutions. This diplomatic compromise is based on the premise of not associating Kashmir’s justified struggle for freedom with terrorism.
China had supported Pakistan’s resistance of listing Masood Azhar primarily because this decision was being touted as a political instrument to snub the Kashmiri struggle for freedom in Indian-occupied Kashmir and brand it as terrorism.
Dr. Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the Foreign Office, called a press conference on 1st May, to explain Pakistan’s perspective on Masood Azhar’s listing. Dr. Faisal stressed that while Pakistan has always respected the technical rules and regulations of the United Nations and its Security Council, it has also “opposed the politicization of the Sanctions Committee”.
While referring to the decision to list Masood Azhar and how the proposals were debated over the years, Dr. Faisal explained that “the earlier proposals to list Masood Azhar failed to generate the requisite consensus in the Sanctions Committee as the information did not meet its technical criteria.”
He noted, “These proposals were aimed at maligning Pakistan and the legitimate struggle of the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmiri for the realization of the right to self-determination and were thus rejected by Pakistan, which has always maintained that resolution of any listing issue should be by consensus, through objective dialogue and consultations, within the 1267 Committee framework and most importantly without politicization.”
Dr. Faisal expressed Pakistan concerns over “an increasing trend of politicization of this Committee (Sanctions)” based on the attempts to include matters and proposals that are “unrelated to the technical criteria”. He noted that in the case of blacklisting Masood Azhar, Pakistan witnessed “politically motivated attempts manifested through calculated leaks, particularly in the Indian media, about matters under discussion in the Committee, which are strictly confidential.”
The Foreign Office Spokesperson stressed that Pakistan has agreed to this decision after all political references. These include “removal of attempts to link it with Pulwama and maligning the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris in IOK for realization of the right to self-determination.”
Pakistan is Committed to Fight Terrorism: FO
Dr. Faisal assured that Pakistan is fully committed to the fight against terror, and this includes the terrorism sponsored by the Indian State against innocent Kashmiris in the occupied valley, the “inhumane use of pellet guns and human shields”.
Dr. Faisal noted, “Indian occupation forces continue to massacre Kashmiris enjoying judicial immunity with impunity through draconian laws. We will continue to provide diplomatic, political and moral support to our Kashmiri brethren.”
Regarding Indian media’s attempts to create a narrative of victory for Modi and validating their stance of fighting terrorism in the occupied valley as “false and baseless”, Dr. Faisal stated that this decision is firmly in-line with the agendas of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has clearly stated that proscribed organizations and their affiliates will not operate from Pakistan’s territory. He asserted that the decision to blacklist Masood Azhar is a manifestation of “our resolve for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our National Action Plan.
China Lauds Pakistan’s Efforts to Fight Terrorism
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang also commended Pakistan on its “enormous contributions to fighting terrorism” and maintained that the proper settlement of the Masood Azhar issue has manifested the importance of “international counter-terrorism cooperation”, the need for building consensus through dialogue, prevent the politicization of technicalities and upholding the principle of mutual respect, along with the rules and procedures of the United Nations.
Shuang stated, “I would like to stress that Pakistan has made enormous contributions to fighting terrorism, which deserves the full recognition of the international community. China will continue to firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorist and extremist forces.”
An official statement issued by the US State Department regarded the designation of Masood as a global terrorist as an important step towards “promoting a peaceful and stable South Asia.” Washington went onto appreciate Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision and “commitment that Pakistan, for the sake of its own future, will not allow militant and terrorist groups to operate from its territory.”
Washington, in its official statement, recognized the measures taken by Pakistan and added, “We look forward to further and sustained actions from Pakistan as outlined in its National Action Plan, consistent with its international obligations.”