By Sriram Lakshman/The Hindu
United Nations, February 22: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday issued a statement, which The Hindu had early access to, condemning the Pulwama attack and underlining the need to hold those responsible accountable.
Significantly Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has been named on the statement as having taken responsibility for the attack.
“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in over 40 Indian paramilitary forces dead and dozens wounded on February 14, 2019, for which Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility,” the statement said.
Sources at the UN said the UNSC statement was released after prolonged Security Council negotiations. China had wanted additional time to think it through as it had some concerns, they said. France is also working, in parallel, to sanction JeM chief Masood Azhar at the UNSC.
A similar action against Azhar in 2017 was blocked by China (India had moved the 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar twice before in 2009 and 2016).
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres had called on India and Pakistan to defuse tensions and for “meaningful mutual engagement.”
Condemning terrorism in all its forms as one of the most serious threats to international peace, the UNSC offered its condolences to those impacted by the attack.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Indian people and the government of India, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured,” the statement said.
“The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,” it said.