US steps up to blacklist Masood Azhar at UN

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The United States (US) on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution with British and French support to the UN Security Council that would blacklist the leader of a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist, setting up a potential clash with China over the move.

Earlier this month, China put on hold a request to put Azhar on the UN sanctions list, over his alleged ties to Al-Qaeda.

JeM has claimed responsibility for a February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama that killed at least 40 CRPF personnel.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China had conducted a “comprehensive and thorough evaluation” however still needed more time to consider the proposal.

Previously, there have been four attempts through a UN sanctions committee to add Azhar to the blacklist. China had prevented three previous requests and put a technical hold on the latest one.

JeM was blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2001