China says positive progress made on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s blacklisting at UN

China on Tuesday said that Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s listing as a global terrorist by the United Nations is progressing smoothly, weeks after it blocked Azhar’s blacklisting at the UN for the fourth time. The JeM is responsible for the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir last month in which over 40 soldiers were killed. Beijing said the issue of Azhar’s blacklisting at the UN will be resolved properly but did not give any timeframe.

In March, China had put a technical hold on a fresh proposal to impose a ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar by the United Nations. Jaish-e-Mohammed had earlier claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that he can only say that the issue will be resolved properly. Geng was responding to questions on whether Beijing has consented to lift its technical hold on a fresh proposal moved by France, the UK and the US to list Masood Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. These countries have recently stepped up pressure on Beijing by taking the issue directly to the powerful UN Security Council (UNSC).

On February 14 this year, more than 40 soldiers were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district after a suicide bomber targeted a bus transporting security forces. The Indian security forces, however, killed the mastermind of the attack in south Kashmir’s Tral area last month. Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan was one of the two militants killed in the encounter in Tral’s Pinglish area. Khan was the mastermind of the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama.

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