‘Failure by China to designate Masood Azhar would be against regional stability,’ says US

New Delhi: Ahead of the UNSC committee’s decision on listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist , the United States said on Tuesday that the JeM chief meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace.

As suspense looms large about China’s stand on the issue, US said that failure by China to designate Azhar would run counter to their collective goal of regional stability.

The Jaish-e-Mohammed group is headed by 50-year-old Azhar. The terror outfit based in Pakistan has carried out many attacks in India and was involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot airbase, army camps in Jammu and Uri, and the latest suicide attack by CRPF personnel which killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

In the aftermath of the February 14 attack in Pulwama, three permanent members of the UNSC – the United States, Britain and France – moved a resolution to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

Several previous attempts by these three countries inside the UN Security Council were blocked by China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan.

China, which is one of the five veto-powered members of the Security Council, so far has been asserting that there is not enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.

US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said “Azhar is the founder and the leader of the JeM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations,”

“JeM, he said, has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.”

The US and India work closely together on counterterrorism efforts, and that includes at the United Nations, he added, noting that their views on the Jaish-e-Mohammed and its founder are well known.

However, he refrained from making a direct comment on the deliberations inside the UN on this issue.

“The United Nations Sanctions Committee, their deliberations, are confidential, and as such we don’t comment on specific matters, but we’ll continue to work with the Sanctions Committee to ensure that the designation list is updated and accurate,” he said.

Answering a question on previous successful attempts by China for blocking the bid to designate Azhar, Palladion said “The United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal.”