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Defying global stance against terror, China vetoes sanctions on JeM chief (Third Lead)

IANS  |  United Nations 

Defying global opposition to terrorism, has vetoed sanctions against Masood Azhar, the of the terrorist organisation (JeM), extending cover to him and that protects him.

On Wednesday, was the only member to oppose the proposal spearheaded with renewed vigour by with and US backing at the sanctions committee to declare him a global terrorist and impose sanctions on him.

Wednesday was the deadline to take a decision in the current cycle and because of Beijing's veto - officially known as a technical hold - the proposal will remain on hold for at least three months.

In New Delhi, the expressed disappointment over the outcome.

"This has prevented action by the international community to designate the of (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in on 14 February 2019," the statement said.

affirmed that it acewill continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice".

The US had said on Tuesday that China's opposition to designating Azhar as an international terrorist runs counter to the mutual goal with the US of regional stability.

As the founder and of JeM, Azhar "meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations" for a global terrorist subject to its sanctions, State Department said.

The Council's sanctions committee on the Islamic State and and linked terrorist groups - known as 1267 committee after Council resolution's number - needs a consensus for its decisions.

had shown some flexibility last month on the issue of last month, when it went along with a Council statement condemning in "strongest terms" the Pulwama attack calling it a "heinous and cowardly suicide bombing" and noting that the claimed responsibility for it. Because of the growing revulsion against terrorism, felt boxed in. Partly to assuage it, the Council made it a statement, rather than a resolution so it would not have a formal vote.

However, Azhar has been the redline for and as it has for a decade protected him.

Although flouts the other decisions of the committee by allowing various terrorist groups under sanctions like the itself to operate, adding Azhar would have increased pressures on it over support for

Before Azhar's case was taken up by the committee, indicated it would block the sanctions on him.

Using convoluted diplomatic language, told reporters in Beijing, "China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the deliberations in the UNSC 1267 Committee" and "engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue".

Last week, Chinese visited for talks with that nation's leaders. He declared that Beijing was Islamabad's time-tested friend and woul stand by it.

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First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 02:22 IST