India slams China for stance on JeM chief Masood Azhar

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MEA Secretary Vikas Swarup at a presser in New Delhi on thursday. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal New Delhi 140116

New Delhi: India on Thursday expressed its strong umbrage to China obstructing the international efforts to shut the door on Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar by declaring him a terrorist, and demarche was issued Chinese Envoy in Delhi.

India’s reaction has come after China blocked the “classic counter-terrorism” proposal moved by four of the five permanent members in the United Nations Security Council to ban Masood Azhar that will freeze his assets and curtail his travel.

“It is our understanding that this was a classic counter- terrorism proposal meant to proscribe a dreaded terrorist leader Masood Azhar whose organisation the Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been proscribed by the UN 1267 Committee,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a briefing here. The proposal was one of the last decisions of the Obama administration and it was moved on Jan 19.

The issue has already been raised with the Chinese Ambassador in Delhi and the Indian Embassy in Beijing is also issuing a “similar demarche”, the spokesperson said. Swarup said that all the permanent members of the UNSC, but one, are on the same page on the issue of Masood Azhar.

“We don’t view this as a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan but as an issue of global counter-terrorism.  We hope that eventually, China will also come around to accepting this view. Obviously, if there is a change in the Chinese position, there will be consensus also,” he said.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang had also told a media briefing in Beijing that his government resorted to this move to allow the “relevant parties” – in an oblique reference to India and Pakistan – to reach a consensus.

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