The United States of America, ahead of taking the crucial decision of declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist, said on the eve of the UN Security Council meeting that, failure to declare the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief as a global terrorist, who meets all the criteria for the same, would be against regional stability and peace.
Masood Azhar has been instrumental in executing many terror strikes in India and he also involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot air force base, army camps in Jammu and Uri, and the latest suicide attack on CRPF in Pulwama district of Jammu which claimed the lives of 44 CRPF personnel.
In the aftermath of the dastardly Pulwama attack, three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), namely the US, France and Britain had moved a resolution to designate Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
But, China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan which is one of the five veto-powered members of the Security Council, had blocked the previous attempts of these three nations asserting that there is not enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.
Now, in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, which has led to heightened tensions between India and Pakistan and amidst the global outrage, other members of the UNSC are hoping that Beijing would act prudently and would not oppose their move this time to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.
A day ahead of the crucial decision by the UN Security Council, the US Administration on Tuesday made it clear that there is enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.
“Azhar is the founder and the leader of the JeM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters at his daily news conference, adding that JeM has been responsible for several terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.
Robert asserted that India and the US have always worked on the same platform when it comes to counterterrorism issues and that includes at the United Nations, he added. He also confirmed that the US shares similar views on the Jaish-e-Mohammed and its founder as India’.
However, Robert abstained from commenting on the deliberations inside the UNSC on this issue. “The United Nations Sanctions Committee, their deliberations, are confidential, and as such we don’t comment on specific matters, but we’ll continue to work with the Sanctions Committee to ensure that the designation list is updated and accurate,” he said.
Meanwhile, in response to a question on previous successful attempts by China to block the UN designation of Azhar, Robert asserted, “The United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal.”
Even after the ghastly terrorist attack in Pulwama last month, China has shown indifference to the matter, by refusing to label Azhar as a terrorist.
This is the fourth time that a proposal has been moved to brand Masood Azhar a global terrorist. The previous three attempts have been blocked by China.
Although China has been consistent in blocking India and the other nations efforts in declaring Azhar a global terrorist, it may change its position this time if India takes a transactional approach with China, according to former Ambassador to China and Bhutan Gautam Bambawale. He has said that China can stop using its veto every time India moves to ban Masood Azhar a terrorist if India does or give China something it needs.
Moreover, there were reports that China is thinking about changing its stand on Masood Azhar and not use the veto to prevent him from getting listed as a terrorist on March 13th when the proposal moved by France and supported by other UNSC permanent members under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 goes under consideration.
Therefore, there are high chances that Pakistan is taken by a surprise in the United Nations Security Council meeting scheduled to take place today.