United Nations: In a huge blow to Pakistan, the UN Security Council on Wednesday declared Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a move that was being blocked by China for nearly 10 years.

The decision of the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee came about two and a half months after the JeM carried out the ghastly terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama killing 40 CRPF personnel, an incident which, however, did not find a mention in the resolution adopted.

Following the decision, the sanctions committee that deals with Al Qaida and its affiliates voted on Pakistan-based Azhar’s designation placing him under stringent sanctions that includes a freeze on his assets and travel restrictions, Pakistan announced it would comply with the mandate.

India Hails Decision

The decision is being regarded as a major diplomatic victory for India, which welcomed UN’s move, saying it was a “step in the right direction to demonstrate the international community’s resolve to fight against terrorism and its enablers”.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the action is ‘in accordance with India’s position and in line with the information that India has shared with the members of the Sanctions Committee regarding terrorist activities’ of Azhar and the JeM.

Hailing the move, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, ‘India stands vindicated’, adding: “… This marks a high point for the Prime Minister’s (Narendra Modi’s) foreign policy”.

PM Lauds UN For The Move

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday lauded the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over its decision to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, terming it a big success for India’s efforts to root out terrorism.

Addressing a Lok Sabha Elections 2019 rally in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, PM Modi said, “It is a matter of satisfaction that a consensus has developed in the world on designating Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Der aye, durust aye (Better late than never).”

Claiming that the development has proved that country’s voice can no longer be ignored on the global stage, he said, “It is a big success for India’s efforts since long to root out terrorism.”

China had been blocking Azhar’s listing despite a strong push by the US, UK and France, saying it did not have enough evidence to brand Masood an international terrorist. It had put a “technical hold” on the proposal four times, the latest being in March.

After the resolution was adopted, China said it ended its objection after India shared fresh evidence. “After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, Chine does not have an objection to the listing proposal,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In Islamabad, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that his country “will immediately enforce the sanctions”, which entails “a ban on foreign travel, asset freeze and arms embargo”, according to Dawn newspaper online.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said the development was a “significant outcome” for India “because we have been at it for several years”, noting that the first attempt in this regard was made in 2009 and the “goal stands achieved”.

Akbaruddin expressed gratitude to “the many many countries which were supportive of this effort, that is, the USA, UK and France” and “several countries within the (UN Security) Council and outside the Council who came forward without any restraints and supported this Indian effort and not tolerating a terrorist”.

On Tuesday, China had indicated that it would no more block the resolution, which was initially moved by India, as the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng said the “relevant consultations” at the Sanctions Committee had made “some progress” and the issue would be “properly resolved”.

France, which had been vigorously pushing for listing of Azhar, immediately welcomed the decision of the 1267 Sanctions Committee. “French diplomacy has been “relentlessly pleading” for sanctioning Azhar, “head of the terrorist group responsible, notably, for the Pulwama attack last February,” a statement issued by the spokesperson said.

(Inputs from IANS)