New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday welcomed the UN’s decision to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist but cast doubt over the timing of the same. Speaking to ANI, Kamal Nath said, “It was long due, it is good that it has been done. This should have happened a long time ago. This has happened during elections, I don’t know if this has something to do with the elections.”

In a major diplomatic win for India, the United Nations designated Pakistan-based Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal by the US, UK and France to blacklist him.

Another Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took a bitter stand on the issue. He maintained, “When Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is extending his hand forward in friendship, then Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed should be handed over to India immediately.  Ghoshna se kya hota hai, jab Pakistan ke PM dosti jata rahe hain Modi ji ke sath to Dawood Ibrahim, Masood Azhar aur Hafiz Saeed ko tatkal Bharat ko saunp dena chahiye.”

Notably, the United Nations’ designation of Azhar came through after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, a decade after New Delhi approached the world body for the first time on the issue.

The UN committee listed Azhar on May 1, 2019 as being associated with al-Qaeda for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to”, “recruiting for”, “otherwise supporting acts or activities of”, and “other acts or activities indicating association with” the JeM.

There was no mention of the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which was claimed by the JeM.

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the sanctions committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.