China slams US for unilateral step to get UNSC to list Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar

Beijing, March 28 (The Hindu): China on Thursday slammed the United States forcirculating a draft resolutionin the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) designating Masood Azhar, head of the Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), as an international terrorist.

“The U.S. has by-passed the 1267 committee and directly filed the draft of the resolution to the Security Council. This is not in line with the resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in response to a question on Washington’s move.

The designation of Azhar as an international terrorist has so far been discussed in the 1267 committee of the UNSC. ButChinahas repeatedly placed a “technical hold” on banning the JeM head, which has already been listed as a terrorist organisation.

On March 13, China stood out as the only member of the 15-nation UNSC, which effectively blocked listing Azhar as a global terrorist by placing a “hold”.

Geng Shuang said Washington’s move had “reduced the authority of the (1267) committee as the main anti-terrorism body of the security council”.

Geng Shuang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman

He added: “This is not conducive to the solidarity and will only complex the issue.”

The Chinese foreign ministry counseled the U.S. “to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward to this resolution draft”. Mr. Geng stressed that China had placed a “technical hold” to allow further discussion and resolution of the issue through dialogue.

Referring to the joint move by the U.S., France and the United Kingdom to seek Azhar’s listing, Mr. Geng said that Beijing opted for a “technical hold,” since “China needs more time to conduct an in-depth and comprehensive review…”

“The listing of Masood involves a series of complex factors, and China has also been working to seek proper solution through dialogue,” he said.

“This is in line with the rule of procedure of the committee and there are some precedent cases of such technical holds. Under the current circumstances, the Security Council should act in a prudential way to play constructive role and create necessary time and space for the relevant parties to conduct dialogue and negotiations,” he observed.

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