In a significant development in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, France is going to move a proposal at the United Nations (UN) to ban Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar. The Pakistan based terror organisation has claimed responsibility for the horrific attack on a CRPF convoy on 14th February at Pulwama near Srinagar.
“At the UN, France will lead a proposal to put Masood Azhar on the terrorist list. It will happen in a couple of days,” a senior French official told PTI. The decision of France was discussed between Philippe Etienne, diplomatic adviser to the French president and Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India.
This is not the first time France has sought to ban Masood Azhar at the UN. In 2017, a similar proposal was brought at UN by the USA, which was supported by France and the UK. The proposal was submitted with the Sanctions Committee 1267 of the UN. But the move was blocked by China.
Before that, India had also moved the US Sanctions Committee for banning Masood Azhar, but those attempts were blocked by China. Out of the 15 members of the security council, only China is blocking the move. China says that there is a lack of evidence against Azhar, and he does not qualify as a terrorist to face UN sanctions.
If Masood Azhar is declared as a terrorist by the UN, Pakistan and other countries will have to freeze his assets and put a ban on his travel. At present Azhar enjoys complete freedom in Pakistan, although his Jaish-e-Muhammad is officially banned in the country.