China wants ‘discussions’ on blacklisting JeM chief

March 17, 2019

TEHRAN - China and India, the two regional heavyweights, are again at loggerheads, this time over China blocking the move to blacklist a Pakistan-based chief of a terrorist outfit.

China prevented a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) committee on Wednesday from blacklisting Jaish e Mohammad (JeM) founder Masood Azhar, the group accused of carrying out attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir, including the one in February.

On Friday, China said it was willing to have more discussions with all parties concerned, including India, on blacklisting the JeM chief.  

China’s foreign ministry said the “technical hold” on the blacklisting was to give more time for the committee to have further consultations and study on the issue.

China hopes the committee’s actions can “benefit reducing the tense situation and protect regional stability”, the ministry said, quoted by Reuters.

“China is willing to strengthen communication with all parties, including India, to appropriately handle this issue,” it added, without elaborating.

India said it was disappointed with China blocking the move, which sparked calls for boycotts of Chinese products on social media.

China, which has become an all-weather ally of Islamabad, had previously prevented the UNSC sanctions committee from sanctioning JeM chief in 2016 and 2017.

The attack on February 14 killed at least 40 paramilitary police personnel and was the deadliest in Kashmir’s three-decade insurgency, escalating tension between the two nuclear powers.

Blacklisting JeM chief at UNSC needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by permanent members – Russia, China, U.S., Britain or France.

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