‘Need responsible solution’, says China on terrorist tag for Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar

China on Monday said it was only through discussions that a “responsible solution” could come out on the issue of listing Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The Chinese foreign ministry’s comment comes in the backdrop of the US, the UK and France moving a fresh proposal at the UNSC to list Azhar as a global terrorist in the aftermath of the JeM claiming responsibility for the suicide attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14.

According to reports, the resolution was expected to be taken up by the 1267 committee of the UNSC on March 13. China has thrice blocked the move by India and other UN members, interpreted by observers as a result of Beijing-Islamabad’s close ties.

“First I would like to say that the UNSC as a main body of the UN has strict standards and rules of procedures… China’s position on the designation of a terrorist by the 1267 Sanctions Committee is consistent and clear,” foreign ministry Lu Kang said on Monday when asked about the upcoming proposal.

“China (has) adopted a responsible attitude, follows the rules of the procedure of the committee and participated in the discussions in a responsible manner. Only through discussions can we come up with a responsible solution,” Lu said.

To a second question whether the issue of Masood Azhar’s ban figured in China’s talks with Pakistan, Lu said: “Recently, India and Pakistan has experienced a lot. We think those indents are not in the interest of peace and stability in the region. We have engaged in mediation efforts with both sides and held talks to promote the easing of tensions. We made enormous efforts. While exchanging ideas security is an important topic and I can say that our talks were wide-ranging and quite deep,” he said.

A day after the Pulwama attack, China had condemned it in strong words, saying it was against all forms of terrorism but had remained ambiguous about Azhar.

“We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism. We hope relevant regional countries will cooperate to cope with the threat of terrorism and jointly uphold regional peace and stability,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had then said.

When asked about China’s stand on the listing of Azhar, Geng repeated what he and his MFA colleagues have said many times before: UN protocols were being followed in this particular case.

“As for the issue of listing, I could tell you that the 1267 Committee of Security Council has a clear stipulation on the listing and procedure of the terrorist organizations. JeM has been included in the Security Council terrorism sanctions list. China will continue to handle the relevant sanctions issue in a constructive and responsible manner,” Geng had said.

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