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China shields Pak based global terrorist from UN sanctions

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New Delhi: China has once again shielded a Pakistan based global terrorist  Abdul Rauf Azhar from United Nations sanctions despite incontrovertible evidence under the garb of procedures as it has put a hold on a US-India joint proposal at the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) commander as a UN designated international terrorist.

In June this year, China similarly put technical hold on the US-India joint proposal to sanction Abdul Rehman Makki – a known Pakistan-based terrorist who is the deputy head of UN proscribed Pakistan based terrorist entity Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. Both Rauf Azhar and Rahman Makki are involved in a number of terror attacks in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, attack on Indian Parliament and hijacking of Indian Airlines flight 814 in 1999. Abdul Rauf Azhar is the younger brother of Masood Azhar and is one of the most wanted persons in India. Experts with the knowledge of UNSC functioning said it has put a question mark on China’s sincerity in dealing with the issues related to global terrorism and efforts by UNSC as it has put hold technical holds on UN resolutions twice in last 2 months and China is abdicating its responsibility as a permanent member of UN Security Council.

While all 14 other UNSC member countries agreed, only China stood out in placing the hold on Abdul Rauf Azhar being declared a UN designated international terrorist. Experts said China has again politicized such an important issue of countering terrorism and it’s negative agenda against India and double standards in respect of global counter-terrorism efforts stands exposed again as seen few years ago in case of listing of Masood Azhar as a global terrorist then Makki and now Rauf Azhar as China is repeatedly blocking listing of known terrorists against whom there exists overwhelming evidence. China did not show similar standards which it seeks for itself form others. Such politically motivated actions by China, in nearly every listing case of a Pakistan based terrorist, undermine the entire sanctity of the working methods of the UNSC Sanctions Committees.

This comes a day after the Indian ambassador to UN Ruchira Kamboj said at the United Nations Security Council that the “practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end”. She pointed, “It is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold,” explaining that “double standards and continuing politicization have rendered the credibility of the sanctions regime at an all-time low.” Experts who have knowledge of UNSC functioning said, “China’s actions expose its double speak and double standards when it comes to the international community’s shared battle against terrorism” terming China’s hold on Rauf Azhar’s listing as “unfortunate”. Experts further said that the sanctions committee has been “prevented from playing its role due to political considerations”.

Replying to questions as to how China justifies shielding global terrorists and creating hurdles in the way of UNSC taking concrete actions against terrorists, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Thursday, at a regular press briefing in Beijing said, “We always strictly follow the Security Council Committee’s rules and procedures and take part in the committee’s work in a constructive and responsible manner. We need more time to assess the application to schedule this individual.”

Chinese spokesperson, however, did not say anything on whether China has reassessed the UN proposal to sanction Abdul Rehman Makki – a known Pakistan-based terrorist who is the deputy head of UN proscribed Pakistan based terrorist entity Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, on which China put hold in June. The Chinese spokesperson also did not say anything on how much time China needs to remove these holds on UN proposals to sanction these two Pakistan based global terrorists.

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