India plays down absence of Pulwama reference in UN notification on JeM chief’s listing
Says Pulwama attack played a role
New Delhi, May 2: India Thursday played down absence of reference to Pulwama attack in the UN notification designating Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, asserting that it broadly covered all his “terrorist acts”.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the UN notification was not supposed to be Azhar’s bio-data, insisting that the Pulwama strike played a role in his listing.
The assertion came after Pakistan claimed that it agreed to Azhar’s listing after all “political references”, including attempts to link him to the Pulwama attack, were removed from the proposal to designate him a “global terrorist”.
“In the UN notification, it very clearly states that Masood Azhar was listed for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, and perpetrating terrorist activities associated with JeM,” Kumar said.
“This broadly covers all terror activities he has been involved in. The notification is not supposed to be a bio-data of the terrorist and include all acts of terrorism perpetrated by him,” he added.
The MEA spokesperson said Pakistan was making claims over the listing “to divert attention from the huge diplomatic setback it has suffered”, adding “India’s objective has all along been to list Azhar as a terrorist”.
“This process started in 2009 when Pulwama terror attack had not taken place. The designation is not based on a specific incident but on the basis of the evidence shared with the members of the 1267 Sanctions Committee linking Masood Azhar to terrorism,” he said.
In a big diplomatic win for India, the UN Sanctions Committee on Wednesday designated Azhar as “global terrorist” after China lifted its hold on a proposal to ban him, nearly a decade after New Delhi first pushed for it.
Asked whether India made any offer to China to support listing of Azhar, Kumar said, “We don’t negotiate with any country on terrorism and on matters related to the security of the country. China has already given its explanation on why the hold has been lifted.”
China said it took the decision to support the move after finding no objection to the listing proposal by the US, the UK and France following a careful study of the “revised materials”.
Kumar said India’s ties with China will improve further after Beijing’s support to the move to list of Azhar as a “global terrorist”.
A UN Security Council (UNSC) designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo.
An assets freeze under the sanctions committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.
On steps Islamabad is expected to take after the UN move, Kumar said Pakistan and all other states are required to freeze the funds and other financial assets of Azhar.
“There will be a travel ban on the individual. There will also be an arms embargo to prevent direct or indirect supply of arms to the individuals. Pakistan is responsible to the international community to take such actions as demanded by the UN Sanctions Committee,” he said.
Kumar said Pakistan has been under scanner of global terror financing watchdog FATF and one of its action plan specifically mentioned that the country has to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf.
The last plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in February decided to continue to keep Pakistan in the “grey list” of countries whose domestic laws are considered weak to tackle the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing.
“At the next FATF Plenary in June next month, Pakistan will be obligated to take action as per FATF procedures,” Kumar said.