New Delhi: China is expected to remove its hold on the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in the coming weeks, said sources. (Also read: Share Info on Masood Azhar With China, up to UN to Take Decision on Him, Says MEA)Also Read - 2 Lashkar Terrorists, Who Murdered TV Artist Amreen Bhat, Shot Dead In Encounter In J&K's Awantipora: Police
According to Wion, the time frame hasn’t been given but sources said they were positive of China’s decision. Also Read - 3 JeM Terrorists Neutralized By Security Forces In Overnight Encounter In J-K's Budgam
China had put a hold on the listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist on March 13 at the 1267 sanctions committee of the UNSC. Bejing has nine months still to decided and remove the hold after the March 13 decision. Also Read - Pakistan Failed To Prosecute Terrorists, Including 2008 Mumbai Attack Mastermind Masood Azhar: US Report
The development comes even as the UK last week expressed optimism that Masood Azhar will be soon listed and India provided evidence of terrorist activities of JeM.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith had said on Friday, “We are strong supporters of listing of Masood Azhar for a decade. So that we will get to that conclusion shortly. I do remain optimistic that it will be resolved.”
Without taking China’s name he said, “We are waiting to see whether the country that is so far been resisting agreeing to its listing will lift that objection.” Hoping “that we will get to that conclusion” of listing Azhar.
The Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was in China last Monday and give evidence regarding JeM’s involvement in terror attacks in India. During his visit, he met Chinese officials including Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
India’s External Affairs Ministry after the visit said, “We have shared with China all evidence of terrorist activities of JeM and its leader Masood Azhar. It is now for the 1267 Sanctions Committee and other authorized bodies of the UN to take a decision on the listing of Masood Azhar. ”
China has been also making positive comments on the listing of Azhar in last few weeks with China MOFA saying, “things are moving towards a settlement”.
JeM was responsible for the 14th February Pulwama attack that killed more than 40 Indian security personnel. The US, along with UK and France had proposed for a listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack.
A United Nations Security Council resolution was also proposed by the US at UNSC after China’s hold on listing in March. Listing of Azhar at UNSC will put travel, an arms embargo and freeze his assets which will impact his activities. (Sidhant Sibal)