China supports Pakistan again at the UN:

China supports Pakistan again at the United Nations. In a recent development, it opposed a U.S led proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s founder Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
The technical hold put by China on the proposal jointly moved by the U.S, the U.K. and France indicates its continued support for Pakistan at the United Nations.
Pakistan had recently put the Jaish-e-Mohammad’s leader under house arrest. This assumes significance in the background of existing developments in which the outgoing Obama administration had renewed its proposal to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist.

Working of the sanctions committee:

  • The Committee was initially established to impose a limited air embargo and assets freeze on the Taliban. Over time, as the regime evolved the measures broadened and targeted assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against designated individuals and entities were included.
  • In 2011, the Security Council unanimously adopted fresh resolutions in this regard. With the adoption of these resolutions, the list of individuals and entities was split into two. The Committee was henceforth known as the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee which had the mandate to oversee implementation of measures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida. A separate Committee was established to oversee implementation of measures against individuals and entities associated with the Taliban.
  • In 2015, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to expand the listing criteria to include individuals and entities supporting the ISIS.
  • When the UNSC meets as al-Qaeda, Taliban & IS Sanctions Committee, it works on the principle of unanimity and anonymity, which essentially means that a single member’s opposition amounts to a veto. The deliberations and the voting that takes place remains a secret.

India’s opposition to the move:

India had last year opposed the practice based on the principle of unanimity and anonymity which it called the hidden veto. Last year China had put the proposal on hold, first for six months, and then extended it for three months before finally blocking it altogether.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad is already a UN-designated terrorist organization and China has failed to explain how it distinguishes the leader from the organization. Masood Azhar was among the terrorists released by India post the hijacking of IC-814 in 1999. He came into foreground last year after India held him responsible for the Pathankot attack.

Way forward:

The new proposal does not mention Pakistan, which the Chinese had cited as reason for their objection to the earlier proposal. Diplomatic sources at the UN informed that China has been trying to persuade Pakistan to roll back its support for Azhar, but the Jaish-e-Mohammad leader is too influential to be abandoned by the Pakistani establishment.

India is hopeful that the Trump administration will continue with the policy followed by the Obama administration on the issue. This assumes significance as President Trump has enhanced the policy of War on Terror to Eradication of Terror.


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