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US moves UN for Masood Azhar’s ban; China again puts a ‘hold’

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New Delhi: A significant bid by the US in the UN for designating Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist has been stymied by China which has again opposed the ban against the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief.

The American proposal came barely weeks after India’s efforts to get Azhar banned by the UN were blocked by China in December last.

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According to senior government sources, the US, supported by the UK and France, moved a proposal at the UN’s Sanctions Committee 1267 in the second-half of last month to proscribe Azhar.

The proposal, which was finalised after “consultations” between Washington and New Delhi, said JeM is a designated terror outfit and so its leaders cannot go scot-free, sources said.

“However, China opposed the US move by putting a hold on the proposal,” a source said, adding the Chinese action came just before the expiry of the 10-day deadline for any proposal to be adopted or blocked or to be put on hold.

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The “hold” remains for six months and can be further extended by three months. During this period, it can be anytime converted into a “block”, thereby, ending the life of the proposal.

UN Sanction Committee’s listing would have forced imposition of asset freeze and travel ban on Azhar by countries including Pakistan.

(With PTI inputs)

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