Fri, 22 Mar 2019

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 14 (ANI): After China once again blocked a proposal in the UN Security Council to enlist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist, human rights activists here on Wednesday (local time) hit out at Beijing for its "predictable" veto.

"China has been using Pakistan as a proxy land for a long time. This is a part of a long term desire and plan by China to completely occupy land resources and state institutions of Pakistan. Pakistani policymakers are not retrospecting about possible repercussions of its implications globally," Jamil Maqsood, a political activist from PoK told ANI.

He said that Chinese policy is "very damaging for international peace, regional peace and democratic aspirations of the people" in the region.

Basheer Naveed, Head, International Human Rights Council, termed China's move as a "very sad situation" and "very shameful.""It was expected that China will veto it and media reports had predicted that China will veto it. It is very sad to see that a person (Azhar) who hijacked a plane and is conducting terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries is being protected. Why is China so interested in him?" he told ANI.

Asserting that China is "very much afraid" of the China -Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Naveed added, "They think these terrorist groups may be provided security to CPEC areas. This is the only reason which I see otherwise. What is the reason behind it? Is China an Islamic country or a fundamentalist country? They are always supporting Pakistan in this way.""It is very shameful and condemnable. The people of Pakistan know how barbaric these terror outfits are and they know who is behind these terror attacks. It is a very sad situation for the people of Pakistan and in the region," he further said.

Echoing similar sentiments, Junaid Qureshi, a Kashmiri and director of the European Foundation of South Asian Studies (EFSAS) urged the international community to put pressure Pakistan to crack down on terrorists and their outfits operating in the country.

"This was expected. I was not expecting anything else. I did hope of a different outcome especially after the Pulwama attack in which every country in the world had condemned. No one condemned the aerial strike of India and actually said that India has a right to self-defence. I did feel that maybe China might support this one as it didn't want to isolate itself," Qureshi told ANI.

He added, "The expectations were not very high. The reasons are very evident and obvious. China is building its CPEC through Pakistan. It cannot upset Pakistan and it needs Pakistan."Hitting out at China for giving strange reasons not to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the EFSAS director elaborated, "The Chinese diplomats said they cannot designate Masood Azhar as a terrorist because there is no consensus between India and Pakistan over him being a terrorist. It is very strange to look for consensus between a country which is supporting Masood Azhar and perpetrating attacks in India and between those who are attacking and those who are being attacked. That is impossible."Qureshi expressed hope that the international community take cognisance over the issue and start condemning China, while adding that every country is backing Azhar's name to be proscribed as a global terrorist.

"More needs to be done. The international community should intervene in this and get Pakistan to do more and crack down on these terrorists instead of taking them into preventive custody and freeing them after six months. I don't think that will work," he further said.

Launching a scathing attack on China, Peer Riaz, a Pashtun activist said, "Both China and Pakistan are protecting themselves. They want to enter Gwadar. Their intention is that they want to completely change Pakistan's geographical region. They are not concerned about Pakistan. They want to carry forward their expansionist policies.""China is killing the Muslims residing there and are being detained at camps. Their policy has anti-Indian sentiment which is an extremely negative approach," he added.

This is the fourth time that China has used the technical hold to block the proposal, which is being pushed by other permanent members of the UNSC, particularly the US, Britain and France.

India expressed disappointment over the development but vowed to continue to pursue "all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens" are brought to justice.

"The ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (1267 Sanctions Committee), upon completion of the no-objection period on 13 March 2019, was not able to come to a decision on the proposal for listing Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi under the UN Sanctions regime, on account of a member placing the proposal on hold," said a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry.

The statement did not identify the "member" of the UNSC which put the proposal on hold but sources said it was China.

"We are disappointed by this outcome. This has prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February 2019," the MEA statement said.

"We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors," it added. (ANI)

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