New Delhi: The United States on Thursday lambasted China in strongest terms over Beijing stonewalling efforts to brand terror organization Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist in the United Nations.

The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “The world cannot afford China’s shameful hypocrisy toward Muslims. On one hand, China abuses more than a million Muslims at home, but on the other it protects violent Islamic terrorist groups from sanctions at the UN.”

Naming the Muslim community alleged to be at the receiving end of hatred and abuse in Xi-ruled China, Pompeo added, “China has detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in Xinjiang since April 2017. China must release all those arbitrarily detained and end its repression.”

STEPPING UP THE ATTACK

This development comes on the day when the US circulated a resolution drafted with the support of the Britain and France and sent it to the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against the JeM chief- urging that he be subjected to travel ban, an arms embargo and impounding of assets.

Earlier this month, the French government froze all the assets of Masood Azhar at the national level and said, “France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism..”

French Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler had tweeted a press statement of the French government, which read, “France has decided to sanction Masood Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets in the application of the Monetary and Financial Code. A joint decree of the Ministries of the Interior, and Economy and Finance was published today in the Official Gazette.”

Ziegler tweeted, “Based on this decree, we will raise with our European partners the issue of including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts.”

Jaish-e-Mohammed engineered an attack on February 14, wherein an explosive-laden SUV rammed a CRPF vehicle, killing all 40 security personnel onboard in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

CHINA VS UNSC

The United Nations had deemed the JeM to be a terrorist organisation since 2001. However, defying global opposition to terrorism, China has repeatedly vetoed sanctions against Azhar.

China once again opposed the blacklisting of Masood Azhar, weeks after India urged the UNSC in wake of the dastardly terror attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.

China has single-handedly been blocking Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist at the UNSC committee for a decade now. In fact, China had hinted earlier that it may block the recent move, stating that the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive to resolve the issue (Pulwama attack aftermath).

More than 10 countries had joined India as co-sponsors endorsing the inclusion of the JeM chief in this list, the latest being Germany. Until now, all the P-3 countries- US, UK and France have co-sponsored the proposal except for China.