DHARAMSALA, Aug 11: China has yet again put a joint India-US bid to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed deputy chief Rauf Asghar as a UN Security Council designated terrorist on hold.
China has blocked a joint move by India-US to declare the Jaish-e-Mohammed deputy chief Asghar as a global terrorist by placing a ‘technical hold’ on the process on Thursday, the Hindu reported.
According to the report, the Chinese mission at the UN has said that it required ‘more time’ to study the proposal as it declared to hold the proposal for the 1267 UNSC terror designation listings on Rauf Asghar, also known as Abdul Rauf Azhar Alvi.
Though New Delhi has not yet confirmed or commented on the Chinese decision to hold Rauf Asghar’s listing at the UNSC, the report stated that the development “is likely to further strain ties between New Delhi and Beijing”.
UNSC is the premier global body for maintaining international peace and security; China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US make up the five permanent members.
While any one of the council’s permanent members can veto a resolution; the council’s ten elected members, which serve two-year, non-consecutive terms, are not afforded veto power.
As it functions on all or nothing, it faces steady calls for reform. JeM was declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the United Nations in October 2001. According to the report, this is the second time China has blocked an India-US listing proposal at the UNSC in two months and it follows a similar hold on the listing of Abdur Rahman Makki, deputy chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba/Jamaat ud Dawa (LeT/JuD) by China.
The hold can last up to a maximum of nine months following which Beijing can wield its veto power again to formally block, or terminate the proposal.
China has previously blocked the move to designate the JeM’s chief Masood Azhar in 2009, 2016 and 2017 respectively, before Beijing finally agreed to the proposal in May 2019.
Terrorist Masood Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar is accused of masterminding multiple terror attacks in India including the IC-814 hijacking in 1999 and the Parliament attack in 2001, to attacks on security force personnel in Pathankot, Pulwama and other locations in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2019 on more minor terror financing charges but it remains unclear where he is at present.