In a major setback to Pakistan, the United States approached the United Nations on Tuesday with a resolution to ban Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar. The move is backed by the UK, France and India. However, China has reportedly again put a hold on the resolution.

The Ministry of External Affairs has said, reacting to China’s blocking the move, “We’ve been informed of this development and the matter has been taken up with the Chinese government”. Azhar, who is included in India’s most wanted list, was put on house arrest by Pakistan in January. 

India had written to the UN in February 2016, days after the attack on Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Pathankot, calling for action against and demanding listing Azhar under the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. At that time also, the proposal was blocked by China — an all-weather ally of Pakistan.

Masood Azhar was also the mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attacks and has been protected by China against proposals to recognise him as a global terrorist.