In the latest development to Pakistan’s refusal-acceptance narrative on Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan has denied the UN’s visa requests to interview the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief. In response to Saeed’s request for delisting him from the UNSC 1267 sanctions list (list of UN recognised terrorists), UN officials wanted to interview him. Saeed had moved a fresh proposal to the UN to remove him from the UNSC sanctions list.

As part of procedural formalities, before removing an individual’s name from the list, the UN conducts in-person interviews of people being considered for delisting. But due to Pakistan consulate’s (in New York) denial, the UN officials are not able to reach out to Saeed. Reportedly, Pakistan was fearful that Saeed would reveal about Pakistan government’s support to various terror organisations operating from its soil. Following visa request refusal, the UN ombudsman Daniel Kipfer Fasciati had to settle for a video interview of Saeed after which a report critical of Pakistan’s behaviour was generated. In the report the UN officially recommended against the de-listing of Hafiz Saeed from the UNSC 1267 sanctions list, thus watering down Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to protect the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Interestingly, Pakistan Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday had said that terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) does not exist in Pakistan which was in contradiction to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s interview in which he had admitted that Masood Azhar was very much in Pakistan and so unwell that he could not step outside.

After the Pulwama attack, countries like the US, Russia, UK, France have been supportive of India in its fight against terrorism. The countries have been vocal to include people like Masood Azhar in the UN sanctions list, although China has been inconsistent when it comes to taking sides.

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