At the UN Security Council, China rejected an effort by India and the US to designate Abdul Rauf Azhar, the leader of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as a global terrorist.
This is the second time Beijing has taken such action in less than two months.
Azhar, who serves as the deputy commander of the terrorist organisation with its primary stronghold in Bahawalpur in Pakistan’s Punjab state, is the younger brother of JeM founder Masood Azhar.
In December 2010, the US Treasury department labeled Azhar a terrorist.
China put a “technical hold” on the request, claiming that more time is needed to conduct research, and therefore prevented India and the US from designating Azhar before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
According to those who are aware of the situation, China has previously adopted a similar stance to thwart plans to blacklist further terrorists located in Pakistan, a country that it has historically allied with.
“We put the matter on hold because we need more time to research it. The committee’s criteria allow for placing holds, and several comparable holds have been made by committee members on listing requests, according to a representative for China’s mission to the UN, who was referring to the Security Council’s sanctions committee.
Similar to this, China put a technical hold on an effort by India and the US to name Abdul Rehman Makki, the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed who is residing in Pakistan, at the Security Council in June. Because of China’s restriction, the listing of Makki is still waiting.
Abdul Rauf Azhar, also known as Abdul Rauf Asghar, was identified by the US Treasury Department in 2010 and was regarded as a top commander of the JeM who “urged Pakistanis to join in terrorist actions.”
In addition to being one of the JeM’s “most senior commanders in India” and its intelligence coordinator, he served as the group’s acting head in 2007. Azhar participated in JeM’s training camps and was “assigned to organise suicide operations in India” in 2008.
Azhar was allegedly involved in the planning and execution of numerous terrorist attacks, including the 1999 hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814 from Kathmandu to Kandahar, the 2001 attack on India’s Parliament, and the 206 attacks on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, according to Indian officials.