China blocks request to put Masood Azhar on UN terror list

AFP

NEW YORK -- China Wednesday (March 13) put on hold a request by Great Britain, France and the United States to add Masood Azhar, leader of Pakistan- based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), the Islamist group behind a suicide attack in Kashmir, to the United Nations (UN) terror blacklist, diplomats said.

It was the fourth time that the UN Security Council was considering a request to put Azhar on the UN sanctions blacklist, which would subject him to a global travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo.

JeM has claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops and that the Security Council condemned.

In a note, China said it needed more time to examine the sanctions request targeting Azhar and asked for a technical hold that could last up to nine months, diplomats said.

China has blocked three previous attempts at the committee to blacklist the JeM leader. The group itself was added to the terror list in 2001.

The United States, France and Britain are "actively considering" a new attempt, this time with a draft Security Council resolution that would designate Azhar a terrorist, the diplomat added.

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