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China protests fresh Azhar bid

US, others move UN Security Council for terror tag, Beijing objects
Masood Azhar in Karachi on January 22, 2000.

Anita Joshua   |     |   Published 28.03.19, 08:17 PM

The US, Britain and France have moved a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council to designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist, drawing Chinese objections for bypassing the 1267 Sanctions Committee where such a proposal has been pending since Beijing put it on hold.

“The US has bypassed the 1267 Committee and directly filed the draft of the resolution to the Security Council. This is not in line with the resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing.

China believes that Washington’s move has “reduced the authority of the (1267) committee as the main anti-terrorism body of the Security Council”. It has warned that this is not conducive to solidarity and will further complicate the issue.

Beijing has advised the US to “act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward with this resolution draft”.

That draft resolution will remain in play for six months, after which any member of the committee can again put it on hold for three more months. If it is not passed unanimously at the end of the cumulative nine months, it would fall.

India chose to remain tight-lipped on the latest development. A source said: “It will not be appropriate for us to comment at this stage on a process which is entirely within the parameters of informal discussion of the Council and its members.’’

Pakistan has shared its preliminary findings on India’s Pulwama dossier and briefed the diplomatic community in Islamabad on the steps it has taken over the past month to probe the February 14 suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF troops.

Pakistan’s attorney-general, the foreign and interior (home) secretaries, and the director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency conducted the briefing on Wednesday.

Islamabad has sought more information from New Delhi and communicated its queries through diplomatic channels.

According to Pakistan’s foreign office, Islamabad told the diplomatic community that the Indian “paper” contained 91 pages and six parts, of which only the second and third parts related to the Pulwama incident. “(The) other parts are generalised allegations. Pakistan is focusing on those parts which relate to (the) Pulwama incident.”

The diplomats were informed that 54 individuals detained after the Pulwama attack were being investigated but no details linking them to Pulwama had been found so far.

“Similarly, the 22 pin locations shared by India have been examined. No such camps exist. Pakistan is willing to allow visits, on request, to these locations.’’

Pakistan claimed that all the aspects of the information provided by India had been thoroughly examined, including the “confessional’’ video of Adil Dar and the “claim’’ of responsibility for the attack.

Islamabad told the diplomats that service providers had been requested for data, including relevant details of the activities and contacts of the GSM number provided by India. Pakistan has also contacted the US government with a request for assistance from WhatsApp.

Though not surprised by Pakistan’s response, India has expressed disappointment and said that Islamabad had followed an identical script after the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks. “Nevertheless, we are examining the paper handed over by Pakistan,” a source said.

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