China, which blocked a bid by India to designate Abdul Rauf Asghar, one of the masterminds of the 1998 IC 814 hijacking, as a global terrorist said on Saturday that it needs more time to “carefully evaluate ” the proposal while claiming it opposes terrorism in all forms.
Asghar, brother of Pakistan-based JeM terrorist Masood Azhar, is accused of masterminding a number of terror attacks.
India and the United States wanted Azhar to be designated as an international terrorist at the UN Security Council but China, a permanent veto-wielding member and a close ally of Pakistan, stalled the move.
“China takes part in the work of committees in a constructive and responsible manner, according to the committee rules and procedures. Members of the committee can put on hold terrorist designation listing, this is a common practice. The Chinese side needs more time to evaluate and this will be carried out in accordance with relevant rules and procedures,” Chinese envoy Sun Weidong told reporters.
He, however, added that “China is willing to work with all the countries in the world to combat the menace of international terrorism”.
Weidong claimed that China “strongly opposes” terrorism in all its forms.” Weidong was asked by journalists to clarify the neighbouring country’s stance on the matter.
In a reply to another question, Weidong said that the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was stable. “China conducts all activity at border in accordance with agreements signed between India and China. I have no specific info of any movement; the situation at the border is stable at the moment,” he said replying to a question about reports about military and air force activity near the LAC.
The proposal to designate Asghar as an international terrorist was moved by India and the US in the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee.
India and the United States wanted Asghar to be designated as a global terrorist and be subjected to a global travel ban and the freezing of all his assets. The proposal required the assent of all members of the 15-member UNSC.
On August 11, as many as 14 members of the UNSC agreed to impose sanctions on Asghar but China blocked the move. It was widely believed that China had taken the step as Pakistan is one of its close allies.
On Tuesday, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj, in an apparent reference to China, said that the practice of placing holds and blocks on listing requests of terrorists without giving any justification must end.
Ms Kamboj made these remarks during the UNSC debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
China on repeated occasions has put the listing of Pakistan-based terrorists under the UNSC Al-Qaeda and ISIL Sanctions Committee on hold. Earlier in June, India slammed China after it blocked the proposal to list terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the Sanctions Committee, also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.
Ms Kamboj said India has suffered from the menace of terrorism for decades and has learned to counter this threat with resolve and firm determination.
“We hope that the international community will stand united in addressing this threat to humanity with zero tolerance,” she added.