Hindu Vivek Kendra
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India rejected China’s terms for ban on JeM chief Masood

Author: Indrani Bagchi
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 3, 2019
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-rejected-chinas-terms-for-ban-on-jem-chief-masood/articleshow/69153459.cms

In the course of the high-level exchanges between India and China, Beijing offered to lift its “technical hold” on Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar’s terror listing if India committed to not attacking Pakistan and de-escalating tensions after the Pulwama terror attack. India refused.

After the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 jawans, for which Jaish claimed responsibility, rising anger in India and in the government prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare that the terror strike would not go unpunished. In the 12 days between Pulwama and India’s air strikes in Balakot, New Delhi’s right to self-defence was acknowledged and agreed to by most of the global community. It became clear that India would not face diplomatic heat if it retaliated militarily against Pakistan-sponsored terror.

China was keen to avoid an India-Pakistan clash. In the discussions with top-level Indian officials, China offered to list Azhar in return for India’s de-escalation. In 2016 and 2017, when China repeatedly blocked Azhar’s listing, it used to ask India to negotiate directly with Pakistan on the issue. India correctly interpreted this as a thin end of the wedge to try to get India to reopen talks with Pakistan. After the Pathankot attack in 2016, India had stopped official dialogue with Pakistan.

On Thursday, the foreign ministry spokesperson was asked whether the lack of any reference to the Pulwama attack in the UN statement that designated Azhar as a terrorist was the result of negotiations with China. “We don’t negotiate with any country on the matter of terrorism and national security. Our objective all along has been the designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist.”

“The designation is not based on a specific incident but on the basis of the evidence shared with the members of the 1267 sanctions committee linking Masood Azhar to terrorism. In the UN notification, it very clearly states that Masood Azhar was listed for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, and perpetrating terrorist activities associated with JeM. This broadly covers all terror activities he has been involved in,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

He added that according to Pakistan’s FATF obligations, Pakistan has to “demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and prohibiting access to funds and financial services.” Pakistan will be questioned on these at the next FATF plenary in June, the MEA spokesperson said.
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