France is looking to bring a proposal to the UN seeking a ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. India and France are also considering the inclusion of other JeM terrorists, much to the dismay of Pakistan and China
New Delhi: After the strong United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemnation of the Pulwama attack, France is likely to bring a proposal for an UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
However, in order to substantiate the diplomatic offensive against the Pakistan based terror group, India and France will give a “cautious” consideration to several other options. They also consider bringing in similar proposals against Azhar’s brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, who is an accused in the Pathankot attack.
Officials said that the government is now in the process of preparing dossiers backed by solid evidence for an UN ban on not just Azhar but also Asghar and other JeM terrorists. Azhar’s another brother Ibrahim Athar, and Shahid Latif, both are accused in the Pathankot attack are other JeM members who could be considered for a ban.
What needs to be seen is if the names of Asghar and others are included in the proposal of JeM leader Azhar in the UNSC 1267 sanctions list or if a ban is sought on them in separate resolutions.
Asghar was not just involved in the Pathankot attack, but had even in the recent past urged and mobilised people to carry out attacks in India.
Just days before the Pulwama attack, Asghar had been quoted as saying that he was looking to terrorise India.
Efforts at the UN to include other JeM commanders as international terrorists could benefit India in upping the ante on China.
China had in the past vetoed a ban on Azhar claiming that there was not enough evidence against him.
In 2017, the last time China blocked a ban on Azhar, India responded by saying that such “selective approaches” and “double standards” would undermine the international resolve to combat terrorism. It is possible that China could still take the same position on Azhar.
A UNSC ban on Azhar and the others will help in imposing target sanctions on these men including assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
In order for that to happen, India must provide evidence, keeping in mind the listing criteria.
On the last occasion, the United States of America had proposed a ban on Azhar. This time, France is at the forefront with the support of other European countries.
Sources have stated that fearing the move, Pakistan had already begun reaching out to its own allies to stall the efforts by France.
Last Updated Feb 25, 2019, 3:55 PM IST