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Masood Azhar is "proven threat", why would China give him "terror pass"?: WSJ

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

A leading US daily has questioned China's blocking of another move at the UN to designate as a "global terrorist", stating that Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's is a "proven threat" and is "loath to upset" its "all-weather" friendship with

The of the Wall Street Journal, in an editorial piece titled 'Shields a Jihadist - blocks a UN attempt to sanction the killer', said without meaningful global action against jihadist enclaves in Pakistan, may "understandably conclude it has few options other than a military escalation".

The editorial comes after for the fourth time blocked a bid in the (UN) to designate Azhar as a "global terrorist" by putting a technical hold on the proposal on Wednesday, a move termed as disappointing.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 of the was moved by France, the UK and the US on February 27, days after the terror attack which killed forty Indian soldiers.

"...Azhar is a proven threat. Why would give him a terror pass?," the asked.

"is loath to upset what it calls its 'all- weather' friendship with Pakistan, and one reason is strategic. The US cut military aid to last year after (Donald) Trump cited its support of terrorists in Afghanistan, and China wants to fill the gap," it said.

The editorial noted that tensions had de-escalated between and after the February 14 terror attack by (JeM) in Kashmir's district which killed 40 personnel.

In the days since (attack), "the global focus now shifts to rooting out terrorists in Pakistan, but China is already easing international pressure on to do so," the editorial said.

It said the proposal moved in the in the last 10 years would have subjected the JeM to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo.

A UN blacklisting would pressure to comply, the said, adding that the concluded in 2017 that Islamabad failed to stop the JeM from "openly raising money, recruiting and training" in the country.

But Beijing put a hold on the proposal saying they "still need more time" to consider the matter, according to

The editorial noted that the international community should not "expect a change" in this stance given that Beijing has blocked action against Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

Lu suggested that UN sanctions against Azhar could endanger the region's stability, "but the opposite is true", the write-up noted.

"Without meaningful global action against jihadist enclaves in Pakistan, may understandably conclude it has few options other than a military escalation," it added.

The editorial cited the American Enterprise Institute's China Global Investment Tracker, saying China has poured nearly USD 32 billion into Pakistani infrastructure through Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.

From 2008-2017, imported USD 6 billion in weapons from China, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, making it Beijing's biggest arms customer in

The editorial also noted that China was "shielding" Azhar even as it uses the threat of terror to sanction its own citizens - the Chinese Uighur Muslims.

It said in its northwestern province, more than one million Chinese Uighur Muslims have been detained in "re-education" centers under the guise of preventing extremism.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 19:50 IST