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UN designates Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist (Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; IOBR)

Masood Azhar

What is the decision at UNSC 1267 committee?
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee. Significantly, the reasons for listing did not mention the Pulwama attack of February 14, for which the JeM had claimed responsibility, and which found mention in the latest (February 27) listing request for Azhar.

What are the implications of ban?
Nevertheless, the listing is a victory for India in a decade-old diplomatic battle waged primarily by it and supported by its friends at the UNSC, as it would mean a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on Azhar.

Events that took place
The P-3 or group of three permanent UNSC members, the U.S., the U.K. and France, had co-sponsored a listing request at the Committee on February 27, weeks after the Pulwama attack that killed over 40 security personnel.

However, China placed a hold on the request — which normally lasts for three months (silence period) — on March 13. This was the fourth such attempt to designate Azhar, over a decade, that had gone awry.

At the end of March, the U.S. circulated a draft resolution (to sanction Azhar) among the UNSC members, i.e., outside the 1267 Committee, presumably to pressure China into either supporting the listing or having to take a stand in open proceedings and risk being seen as supporting terror.

On April 23, meeting to list Azhar at the U.N. began after the silence period (when objections can be raised). The period ended on May 1 and following no objections from China this time, it went through.

Reasons for listing
The reasons for designating Azhar as a terrorist as per listing included his support for the JeM since its founding, being associated with the al-Qaeda by recruiting for them and “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities or supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material”. It also pointed to his role in recruiting fighters in Afghanistan. The JeM itself was sanctioned by the 1267 Committee in 2001.

(Adapted From The Hindu)



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