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China uses its veto power to save Masood Azhar from being listed as ‘Global Terrorist’

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The mastermind behind almost every terrorist attack and the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Masood Azhar was about to be listed under the ‘United Nations Security Council resolution 1267 as a “global terrorist” but China yet again saves him from being listed as global terrorist by using its Veto power.

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For sure, a listing will provide some satisfaction as a diplomatic victory. China had blocked Azhar’s listing over the years, and if it did not put up an objection this time, something has certainly changed. It will help India claim the shift as the result of the pressure brought to bear on Beijing in the days since the Pulwama attack and the India-Pakistan military standoff that followed. The NDA and BJP will use it as evidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic prowess. In the event he is not, India will rage, mainly through its media, against the country that prevented it.

But beyond that, 1267, adopted unanimously in October 1998, and strengthened through more than a dozen other resolutions passed over the two decades since, has proved remarkably ineffective in ending the support and safe havens that India-focussed terrorists and terrorist groups get in Pakistan. The al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee set up to implement the resolution (now renamed The Daesh and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee) updates its list of terrorists and terrorist entities every year. When the “consolidated list” of the Sanctions Committee was updated in February 2019, of the 262 individuals and 82 entities who figure in it, more than 100 are from Pakistan — either Pakistan nationals, or Pakistani passport holders, or non-Pakistanis resident in Pakistan, or groups with a Pakistan address.

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