‘Ban JeM chief Masood Azhar’; US, UK and France ask UN Security Council

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The United States, UK and France have moved a fresh proposal on Wednesday in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

The three-permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council, in a proposal, have asked the sanctions committee to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, global travel ban and asset freeze.

The committee operates by consensus and members will have 10 working days to consider the fresh proposal submitted by the three members.

In 2009, India had moved a proposal to designate Masood Azhar a UN-designated global terrorist. In 2016, India submitted a proposal with the P3 – the US, UK and France – in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the terror attack on the airbase in Pathankot in January 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations – the US, UK and France – moved a similar proposal again at the UN Security Council. However, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC, repeatedly blocked the proposals from being adopted by the Sanctions Committee.

It remains to be seen how China, which is Pakistan’s close ally, will vote on the proposal this time, following a crucial bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Wuzhen, where she participated in the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting on Wednesday.