United Nations adds leader of outlawed Pakistan group to sanctions list

Past governments had proscribed him under Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act for some time, even before his case for listing was taken up by the Sanctions Committee.

The UNSC decision against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar comes as a major win for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the election season as the party is likely to raise the issue in its political campaign.

Pakistan has issued an official order to freeze the assets of and impose a travel ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar after the United Nations declared him a "global terrorist".

The US had put forward a draft Security Council resolution to blacklist Azhar, ratcheting up pressure on China to remove its opposition to the sanctions.

"'Pakistan has always advocated the need for respecting these technical rules and regulations and has opposed the politicisation of the Sanctions Committee", Dr Faisal maintained.

The spokesman said Pakistan maintained that terrorism was a menace to the world.

Beijing said on Wednesday it had no objections to Azhar's listing after studying revised proposals at the United Nations. This included the Indian state sponsored terrorism against innocent Kashmiris in IOK, including the inhuman use of pellet guns and human shields which found no parallel in the civilized world.

About 500,000 Indian security forces are stationed in Kashmir, tasked with battling various armed groups.

The Indian media's attempts to build a narrative claiming it as a "victory" for India and validation of its stance were thus absolutely false and baseless, he said.

The FO statement further said these instances of politicization by India were brought to the attention of the President of FATF by the Finance Minister of Pakistan.

China's shift was the result of pressure mainly from the broader worldwide community, and not just unilateral pressure from the Indian government, he said. Recently, relevant countries revised and re-submitted the materials for the listing proposal to the 1267 Committee.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that Pakistan has made great contributions for countering terrorism and it deserves full recognition of the worldwide community.

"India has made several efforts in the past as well to politicise the proceedings at FATF", the statement said and added, "Prior to the FATF plenary meeting in February 2019, India circulated its own assessment of Pakistan's progress and solicited immediate support for "blacklisting" Pakistan". "The core issue is that he has been declared as an worldwide terrorist, he and his country will have to face the consequences", said Jaitley.

But India wants Pakistan blacklisted, which would likely result in sanctions, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said last month.

  • Tracy Klein