‘Most regrettable’ that evidence-based proposals to blacklist world’s notorious terrorists being put on hold: India at UNSC
United Nations: Taking a dig at China, India has told a UN Security Council meeting chaired by Beijing that it was “most regrettable” that genuine and evidence-based proposals to blacklist some of the world’s “most notorious terrorists” are being placed on hold, saying such “double standards” are rendering credibility of the Council’s sanctions regime at an “all-time low”.
In June, China, permanent member of the UN and a close ally of Pakistan, 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.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj on Tuesday said the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end.
“An effective functioning of the Sanctions Committees requires them to become more transparent, accountable and objective. The practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests without giving any justification must end,” she said.
Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on ‘Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts’ chaired by permanent-member and Council President for the month of China, Kamboj said, “It is most regrettable that genuine and evidence-based listing proposals pertaining to some of the most notorious terrorists in the world are being placed on hold.”
“Double standards and continuing politicisation have rendered the credibility of the Sanctions Regime at an all-time low. We do hope that all members of the UNSC can pronounce together in one voice, sooner than later, when it comes to this collective fight against international terrorism,” she said.
Makki is a “US-designated terrorist” and brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba head and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack “mastermind” Hafiz Saeed.
It was learnt that New Delhi and Washington had put a joint proposal to designate Makki as a “global terrorist” under the 1267 ISIL and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council but Beijing placed a hold on this proposal at the last minute.
Earlier also, China, an all-weather friend of Islamabad, had placed holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list Pakistan-based terrorists.
In May 2019, India had won a huge diplomatic win at the UN when the global body designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, a decade after New Delhi had first approached the world body on the issue.
A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China was the sole hold-out in the 15-nation body on the bid to blacklist Azhar, blocking attempts by placing a “technical hold”. All decisions of the committee are taken through consensus.
In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar. In 2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 – the US, the UK and France – in the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the “mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot” in January 2016.
In 2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again. However, on all occasions, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, blocked India’s proposal from being adopted by the sanctions committee.
In November 2010, the US Department of the Treasury designated Makki as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist”. As a result of this designation, among other consequences, all property, and interests in property, of Makki that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Makki.
“In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide, material support or resources to the FTO LeT,” the US said.
The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice programme is offering a reward of up to USD 2 million for information on Makki, “also known as Abdulrahman Maki”.
Makki has occupied various leadership roles within Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO). He has also played a role in raising funds for LeT operations.
“In 2020, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court convicted Makki on one count of terrorism financing and sentenced him to prison. The United States continues to seek information on Makki because the Pakistani judicial system has released convicted LeT leaders and operatives in the past,” according to information on the Rewards for Justice website.