Current AffairsIndia

Mounting pressure on Islamabad: France gets US, UK backing to ban Masood Azhar

New Delhi, Feb 28 (GCCurrentAffairs) The diplomatic pressure on Pakistan vis-a-vis its role in not taking actions against chief of the UN-proscribed Jaish-e Muhammad (JeM) Masood Azhar is far from over as

India’s trusted partner France is set to get the monthly Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council (UNSC) from Equatorial Guinea on March 1.

France, which has been pushing for move to ban the chief of the UN-proscribed Azhar, has now been backed by the United States and UK and a proposal already initiated to blacklist the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad, which has openly claimed to have undertake the terror attack at CRPF convoy at Pulwama on February 14.

In the past such attempts were made but they were scuttled and stalled by China.

However, at Wuzhen city of China, after the RIC Foreign Ministers meeting on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaking in presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke about the need to “eradicate the breeding grounds” of terrorism and extremism.

The mention of the “breeding grounds” of terrorism by the Chinese leader is largely seen as endorsement of India’s stance specially in the backdrop of the February 14 Pulwama terrorist attack.

The United States, UK and France have asked the 15-member Security Council sanctions committee to subject Masood Azhar to an arms embargo, global travel ban and asset freeze, reports say.

Amid speculation what would be China’s role – which has opposed such a move in the past – it is also reported that UNSC – that operates by consensus – may take a decision by March 13, sources said.

France, a permanent member of the Council with veto powers, has been working on the proposal and has been keen to move the proposal in the Sanctions Committee during its presidency.

The US,UK and France also had moved a similar proposal in 2017 only to be stalled by China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC.

Since Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force under took a massive surgical strike and destroyed JeM’s biggest training camp at Balakot in the remote Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

The camp was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.

On two other occasions, move to take UNSC sanctions had come – first in 2009 and also in 2016.

While China has come to Pakistan’s and Azhar’s defence indirectly, this time around – there is a feeling that perhaps Beijing might not like to give an excuse to India to escalate the conflict situation with Pakistan further.

According to observers, the growing international support to the Modi government including strong statement from UNSC and FATF naming JeM for Pulwama attack and the OIC invite were seen as paradoxical elements till last week that ‘could stall’ Modi government’s hot pursuit against Pakistan.

However, on February 26, India undertook a pre-dawn strike and Pakistan’s attempts to target its military installations has apparently provoked Indian establishment further.

Via UNI-India

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