UNSC
PC : File Photo

UNITED NATIONS: India on Tuesday told the UN Security Council that the practice of placing blocks and holds without “any rhyme or reason” on requests to designate terrorists and terror groups must end, an apparent reference to China which had repeatedly blocked New Delhi’s bids to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

“We must not countenance double standards in this battle. Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.

“Accordingly, we must reform the working methods of the Committees dealing with Sanctions and Counter Terrorism. Transparency, accountability and effectiveness are the need of the day. The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason must end. This only erodes our collective credibility,” he said.

Jaishankar was speaking at the UNSC Ministerial Meeting on ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: International cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001),’ the first address by Jaishankar to the Security Council after India began its two-year tenure on the 15-nation body this month.

Before India succeeded in its nearly 10-year long efforts to have Pakistan-based Azhar designated as a global terrorist at the UN, China, Islamabad’s all-weather ally, had repeatedly blocked New Delhi’s attempts to list the Pakistan-based terrorist under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.

In May 2019, India had registered a huge diplomatic win when the UN slapped sanctions against Azhar after China lifted its hold on the proposal to blacklist him. Beijing had earlier put the hold on the proposal, scuttling yet another attempt to blacklist the JeM chief.

The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist. Beijing lifting its hold was a massive diplomatic win for India, which had relentlessly pursued the matter with its international allies.

Jaishankar also underlined that enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes must be done objectively, “not for political or religious considerations. Proposals in this regard merit due examination before circulation.”