China on Thursday defended its technical block to the UN resolution to declare Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, saying it needed "more time" as it is "conducting a comprehensive and in-depth review" on the listing request put forth by the countries.
China said that it will continue "coordinating" with all the relevant parties to find a "lasting solution" to the issue if is to be resolved in a "responsible and sustainable way."
"The 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear criteria for the procedures to list terrorist organizations or individuals. China is conducting a comprehensive and in-depth review on the listing request put forth by the relevant countries. We still need more time and that is why we decided to put a technical hold on it," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters at a regular briefing here.
"It complies with the rules of procedure of the 1267 Committee. We hope that relevant actions taken by the 1267 Committee will help countries concerned to settle their issues through dialogue and consultation and avoid adding more complex factors to regional peace and stability. China will continue its communication and coordination with all relevant parties in a constructive and responsible way to properly settle this issue," he added.
For the fourth time in the last ten years, China on Wednesday blocked a proposal by the US, the UK and France, among others, to enlist Pakistan-based Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, despite his outfit carrying out the ghastly Pulwama terror attack on February 14, which killed 40 CRPF personnel.
A global terrorist tag under the UN's 1267 committee would have led to a freeze on Azhar's assets and a ban on travel and keeping arms.
"By putting a technical hold on the listing of Masood at the 1267 Committee, China aims to get more time for the Committee to review this issue and for all parties to engage in consultations and create a favourable atmosphere. In the long run, it will help ease tension and maintain stability in the region," Lu remarked.
"If this issue is to be resolved fundamentally and in a sustainable way, we need a solution agreed by all. China will continue to step up communication and coordination with all relevant parties including India to properly settle this issue," he further said.
India expressed disappointment over the development but vowed to continue to pursue "all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens" are brought to justice.
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