China is likely to lift its hold on blacklisting Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations (UN) Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee on 1 May 2019, people familiar with the development said, reports Hindustan Times.
If Beijing caves into the demand led by United States (US), France and the United Kingdom (UK), this could pave the way for the implementation of further global financial sanctions against Azhar’s banned group.
Days after the devastating Pulwama attack by a JeM suicide bomber that killed 40 Indian troopers, India's ally and a permanent member of the UNSC, France, with the backing of the US and the UK, moved a proposal at the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.
However, on 13 March, the final day, China placed a hold on the proposal for the fourth instance, saying more time was needed to discuss the matter and arrive at a consensus.
This development is said to have irked the US and other major world powers which then went on to circulate a draft resolution on listing Azhar among the UNSC's members to force China's hands.
Last week, the UK high commissioner, Dominic Asquith had apprised the reporters that the country was optimistic about Azhar's listing. Also, during a visit to India last week, US principal deputy assistant secretary of the state for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells conveyed to her Indian counterparts that it was looking for action against Azhar in the near term.
If China softens its stance and withdraws the hold this time, this would be a major victory for the incumbent Modi government.