JeM Chief Masood Azhar Designated as Global Terrorist by UNSC

In a big win for India, the United Nations Security Council has designated Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. He was named a global terrorist by the UNSC 1267 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee on Wednesday after China lifted its hold on a proposal in this regard by the United States, United Kingdom and France.

Confirming the UN decision on Masood Azhar, Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, tweeted: “Big, small, all join together. Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in UN Sanctions list.”

The UN decision to designate Masood Azhar a global terrorist marks a major victory for India’s decade-long diplomatic efforts towards this goal. At the same time, US, UK and France have been continuously holding negotiations with China at the UNSC to withdraw its hold on including Azhar’s name in the UNSC sanctions list. China had placed a hold on the proposal back on March 13.

This is also the first time that a terrorist is being listed by the UN following an attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed had taken the responsibility for the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama which claimed the lives of 40 security personnel in February this year.

In the past, the designations were consequent to acts of violence in various parts of India, except for Jammu and Kashmir. Lashkar-e-Taiba and its leaders Hafiz Saeed, and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were banned for 2008 Mumbai terror attack. Jaish-e-Mohammad was designated a banned organisation after the 2001 parliament attack. None for their involvement in terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The dossier on Masood Azhar submitted by India stated that he had close ties with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in the past. The document claimed that Azhar had been active in the jihadist circles in Kashmir, Afghansistan and Somalia. Of late, he has also expanded Jaish’s operational focus by joining the Afghan Taliban in attacks against the government and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

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