China on Thursday sought to defend its move to block a proposal by the United States and India at the United Nations to blacklist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) deputy chief Abdul Rauf Azhar, saying it needs more time to assess the application.
China on Wednesday put a hold on a proposal by India and the US to designate Azhar, the brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a global terrorist and subject him to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
“We need more time to assess the application to sanction this individual,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing while replying to a question.
Wang said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about scheduling and related procedures for designating terrorist organisations and individuals.
“China has always strictly followed the rules and procedures of the committee and in a constructive and responsible manner participated in its work. We hope other members will also do the same,” Wang said in response to questions on Beijing putting hold of the US and India proposal at the United Nations to blacklist Abdul Rauf Azhar.
Abdul Rauf Azhar, born in 1974 in Pakistan, was sanctioned by the US in December 2010.
This is the second time in less than two months that China has put a hold on a listing by the US and India to blacklist a Pakistan-based terrorist under the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council.
In June this year, China had put a hold, at the last moment, on a joint proposal by India and the US to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
When pointed out China also put a hold on the request to sanction a Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UNSC seeking time and how much time Beijing needs, Wang said: “We always strictly follow the UNSC committee’s rules and procedures and take part in its work in a constructive and responsible manner.”
“We hope relevant media will refrain from making groundless speculation,” he said.
Makki is a US-designated terrorist and brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba head and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
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