No April 23 deadline, but China moving to resolve Masood Azhar issue in UN

China on Wednesday dismissed reports that the US, UK and France have served it an ultimatum until April 23 to lift its “technical hold” on designating Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist but claimed that the vexed issue is “moving towards settlement”.

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 UK and the US.

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

China, a veto wielding member of the UNSC, had opposed the move, saying the issue should be resolved at the 1267 Committee itself which also functioned under the top UN body.

Reacting to reports that the three countries have fixed April 23 as deadline for China to lift its technical hold in the 1267 Committee or else they would press for a discussion on the issue at the UNSC itself, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, “I don’t know where you