New Delhi: In its 2+2 dialogue with the US on September 6, India will be seeking an international ban on Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief and Pathankot airbase attack accused Masood Azhar, said a report on Monday. According to The Time of India, seeking of a ban on Azhar will act as an early test for the Imran Khan government’s claimed willingness to take two steps for every step India
takes for normalisation of ties. (Also read: Masood Azhar Vows to Step up Terror Attacks in Kashmir)
According to the daily, India has been assured by the US that it is working to ensure that Beijing drops its opposition to a ban, whenever it is proposed, on Pakistan-based Azhar. As a permanent member of the UNSC, China had initially blocked and later terminated a US-backed proposal to have Azhar be declared a global terrorist by the UN last year. India has since worked with the US, UK and France to convince the Chinese for a ban because the organisation Azhar heads, JeM, is already proscribed by the UN. Last year, India and the US launched a new consultation mechanism on domestic and international terrorist designations listing proposals.
Interestingly, China had called India an important neighbour and said that it was ready to work on improving bilateral ties between the two most populous countries of the world. The country made this comment after it blocked JeM chief, Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist by the United Nations for the fourth time. Earlier this month, the US State Department labelled three LeT-linked Pakistan nationals as Specially Designated Global Terrorist, said the daily. The US and India are also working to ensure global terrorists are also included in the UNSC sanctions committee list. The Azhar issue has been one of the impediments in improving ties with China in the past few years. Pompeo is also expected to deliver a strong message to Islamabad on terrorism.