China changed its stance after pressure

The United Nations has designated Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a militant group, as a terrorist. The JeM’s latest act of terror was the Pulwama bombing in Indian administered Kashmir, where a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian army personnel. New Delhi termed the step as a “diplomatic victory.” Syed Akbaruddin, the ambassador of India to the UN, thanked all the countries which supported this resolution.

Masood Azhar will now be subjected to a travel ban. His assets will also be frozen. The three permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members or the P-3 group are the United Kingdom, France, and the United States and co-sponsored a specific listing request on February 27; a few weeks post the Pulwama attack. The application particularly mentioned JeM and pointed out that the militant group itself claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack.

The proceedings were paused by China on March 13, who placed the request on hold for three months. It seemed the fourth attempt to label Azhar a terrorist would not come into fruition. The end of March witnessed the U.S. circulating a specific draft resolution which will sanction Azhar, among members of the UNSC. The intention behind this action was to pressure China to either support the listing or take an open stand on the proceedings. If China exercises the second option, it will be seen as a supporter of terrorist activities. Beijing capitulated and indicated its willingness to change its old position.

Pakistan responded immediately and said it would enforce all the UN sanctions and as expected, took a potshot towards India. Islamabad said terrorism constitutes a menace to the whole world and mentioned Kashmir where, according to it, the Indian Government engages in state-sponsored terrorism. Mohammad Faisal, the foreign office spokesperson, said it would be wrong to present this development as India’s diplomatic victory and the validation of the country’s stance.

The literal meaning of Jaish-e-Mohammed is Army of Mohammad. Masood Azhar founded the JeM after India released him in 1999. He was one of the three people who was set free as part of an exchange agreement for the passengers and crew of the Indian Airlines commercial jetliner which were first hijacked and then flown into Taliban controlled Afghanistan. It is believed that Azhar met Osama Bin Laden and former Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

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