UN 1267 Committee Adds Pakistan-Based JeM Leader Azhar To Terror List | Security Risks Asia Humane ClubMade with Humane Club

UN 1267 Committee Adds Pakistan-Based JeM Leader Azhar To Terror List

Published May 02, 2019
Updated Apr 17, 2020

The United Nations has added Masood Azhar, the leader of a Pakistan-based Islamist group, to its list of global terrorists after the organization claimed responsibility for a February suicide attack in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian soldiers as per RFE RL.

The UN sanctions committee on May 1 announced the action against Azhar, who heads the Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM), over its ties to the Al-Qaeda terror organization.

The UN was freed to impose the restrictions after China ended moves to block the action to blacklist Azhar. Beijing had put a technical hold on a fourth request for sanctions on Azhar from the United States, Britain, and France in March.

The sanction move will include a freeze on Azhar’s international assets, a ban on global travel, and an arms embargo.

The sanctions committee did not cite the Kashmir attack, but said Azhar is linked to terrorism for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities” carried out by JeM.

JeM itself has designated on the UN global terror list since 2001. The group was founded by Azhar after he was released from prison in India in 1999 in exchange for 155 hostages held on an Indian Airlines flight that had been hijacked to Kandahar.

JeM claimed responsibility for the deadly February 14 attack in Kashmir that raised tensions between India and Pakistan and led to a retaliatory air strike by India inside Pakistan.

Indian Reaction

In response to media query on China’s lifting the hold on terrorist designation of Masood Azhar by the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN, the MEA Spokesperson made the following comments:

The 1267 Sanctions Committee’s decision to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar, as a UN proscribed terrorist is a step in the right direction to demonstrate the international community’s resolve to fight against terrorism and its enablers. We welcome the decision. This is in accordance with India’s position and in line with the information that India has shared with the members of the Sanctions Committee regarding terrorist activities of Masood Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad. India will continue with its efforts through international forums to ensure that terrorist organizations and their leaders who cause harm to our citizens are brought to justice.

A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council said the U.S. administration commended the move to sanction Azhar.

Pakistan Reaction

Pakistan stressed that the designation of Azhar had nothing to do with the February attack, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad. Pakistan has denied any involvement in the attack, one of the deadliest attacks on Indian security forces.  

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal told reporters that it would be “false and baseless” for India to claim that the sanctions on Azhar were a victory for New Delhi.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal   said “current listing proposal has been agreed after all political references, including removal of attempts to link it with Pulwama. ………The Indian media’s attempts to build a narrative claiming it as a ‘victory’ for India and validation of its stance are thus absolutely false and baseless.

Our position is in line with the statements of Prime Minister Khan who clearly stated that there is no space for any proscribed organization or its affiliates to operate from Pakistani territory, our resolve for countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and our National Action Plan”.

No mention was made of Masood Azhar’s continued presence on Pak soil.

Chinese Reaction

“The 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council has detailed criteria for the listing procedures. China always believes that the relevant work should be carried out in an objective, unbiased and professional manner and based on solid evidence and consensus among all parties”, a press release issued by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

 “On this listing issue, China has been communicating with relevant parties in a constructive and responsible fashion. Recently, relevant countries revised and re-submitted the materials for the listing proposal to the 1267 Committee. After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, China does not have objection to the listing proposal,” he said.

“The proper settlement of the above-mentioned issue again shows that in international counter-terrorism cooperation, we have to uphold the rules and procedures of relevant UN body, follow the principle of mutual respect, resolve differences and build consensus through dialogue, and prevent politicising technical issues,” he said.

“I would like to stress that Pakistan has made enormous contributions to fighting terrorism, which deserves the full recognition of the international community. China will continue firmly support Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorist and extremist forces,” Geng said.