After China blocked designation of JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed) chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, France, a permanent member of the council, has decided to freeze the assets of the terror outfit’s leader in the country.
The French finance ministry and foreign ministry said that France would discuss adding Masood Azhar to a European Union list of people involved in terrorism, according to the joint statement issued by the French interior ministry.
“France has decided to sanction Masood Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets in application of the Monetary and Financial Code,” the statement read.
“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.”
A senior US diplomat had on Thursday said that responsible member-states of the UNSC may be forced to take “other actions” if China continues to block moves to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
While India had expressed “disappointment” over China blocking the listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar by the UNSC for the fourth time Wednesday, officials privately admitted that they were expecting the veto, given China’s “deep political and economic commitment” to Pakistan.
Pakistan is under pressure from world powers to act against JeM and other terror groups carrying out attacks in India.