U.S. sees ‘urgency’ as UNSC takes up JeM resolution

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China's opposition to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an global terrorist by the United Nations runs counter to its mutual goal with the USA on regional stability, according to a State Department official. The no-objection period deadline was scheduled to end at 3 PM local time on Wednesday (12:30 AM IST on Thursday).

The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members. Following the Pulwama attack, whose responsibility was taken by terror outfit JeM, India once again approached the global community to play its bid in order to ban Masood Azhar and list him as UN-designated terrorist. In a press release, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, "We are disappointed by this outcome". "I would say that the United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace and that a failure to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar would run counter to this goal", US State Dept spokesperson Robert Palladino said.

China has vetoed the move to designate Azhar in the past.

The MEA further said that it will "continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that terrorist leaders who are involved in heinous attacks on our citizens are brought to justice".

India was perturbed about whether China would let the process conclude or place a "technical hold" on it-as it has done several times in the past.

"I could reiterate that China will continue to adopt responsible attitude and participate in the deliberations in the UNSC 1267 Committee", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing here.

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A U.N. Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that if China continued to prevent the designation of Azhar then other council members "may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council".

The UN Security Council (UNSC) is expected to take up a resolution on March 13 that declares JeM chief a global terrorist.

According to sources, the statement of the case of the latest proposal by France mentioned that JeM had taken responsibility for the Pulwama suicide attack on February 14 in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed. However, hours before the deadline expires for any member at UNSC, India has reached out to key players in order to mobilise support. The unwavering Chinese stand in Pakistan's favour comes in the backdrop of USA under secretary of state for political affairs David Hale and India's foreign secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale holding foreign office consultations on Tuesday.

On Monday, India and the U.S. called on Pakistan to take "concerted action" to dismantle terror infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups, reflecting the growing pressure on Islamabad to crack down on terror after the Pulwama suicide bombing.

On February 26, India staged an air raid on a camp inside Pakistan that it said belonged to JeM. "A sad day in the global fight against terrorism".

China also added that it would play its responsible role in collaboration with all the concerned parties.