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US, UK and France ask UN Security Council to ban JeM chief Masood Azhar

The United States of America, the United Kingdom and France have submitted a fresh proposal in the United Nations Security Council to assign Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, a listing that will subject him to the global travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.

The fresh proposal was introduced on Wednesday by the three permanent veto-wielding members of the 15-nation Security Council. The Security Council Sanctions Committee will have 10 working days to think the fresh proposal submitted by the three members.

The project is the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.

Previous attempts

In 2009, India moved a program to designate Azhar, whose UN-proscribed JeM claimed liability for the suicide attack against Indian security forces in Pulwama on February 14 in which over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed.

In 2016 again, India moved the proposal with the P3 – the United States, the United Kingdom and France – in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the leader of the attack on the airbase in Pathankot in January 2016.

In 2017, the P3 nations moved a related proposal again. Nevertheless, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being chosen by the Sanctions Committee.

It continues to be seen how China will vote on the proposal this time.

China, a close ally of Pakistan, has consistently blocked moves first by India and later by the US, the UK and France to choose Azhar as a global terrorist by the 1267 Committee by putting technical holds.

France considers the critical rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in March.

At least 40 CRPF personnel were martyred and many wounded on February 14 in one of the bloodiest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a JeM suicide bomber crashed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of bombs into their bus in Pulwama district.

India has firmly repeated its appeal to all members of the international community to support the proposal to list terrorists, including Azhar, as designated terrorists under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, and to ban terrorist organisations working from territories dominated by Pakistan.

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