Pakistan will not be ‘pressured’ by anyone on Masood Azhar, says Mohammad Faisal

Islamabad: Just a day after China dismissed reports of being served with an ultimatum on Masood Azhar’s banning by US, UK and France, Pakistan said that its decision on Azhar will not be pressured by anyone.

The country’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that the country maintains a clear stance on Azhar and it won’t be under pressure from anyone on issue of banning Azhar.

When Faisal was quizzed about China vetoing the designation of Masood Azhar as global terrorist at the UNSC, Faisal said that whatever decision Pakistan will take in this regard will be in its national interest. He said that Pakistan will not be pressured by anyone.

On Wednesday, China had dismissed reports that the US, the UK and France have served an ultimatum to Beijing to lift its “technical hold” on designating the JeM chief as a global terrorist by the UN, by April 23. China claimed that the vexed issue was “moving towards settlement”.

Masood Azhar is the chief of the Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed which carried out deadly terror attack in Pulwama killing 40 Indian CRPF personnel.

After the Pulwama attack, a fresh proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the US and the UK.

However, China, a close ally of Pakistan, blocked the bid by putting a “technical hold” on the proposal. Following this, the US, backed by the UK and France, moved directly to the UN Security Council (UNSC to blacklist Azhar. China, has previously blocked bids to blacklist Azhar thrice.