U.N. blacklists founder of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed
- 01 May 2019
A U.N. Security Council committee blacklisted the head of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) on Wednesday after China dropped its objection to the move, ending a decade-long diplomatic impasse, ONAreports quoting Reuters.
Pakistan’s ally China had repeatedly opposed efforts at the United Nations by Western powers to directly sanction JeM founder Masood Azhar, even though the group had already been blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council in 2001.
JeM has carried out several high-profile attacks in India and claimed responsibility for a February suicide bombing that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir, an attack that brought the two nuclear-armed neighbors to the brink of war.
However, to win China’s support for the sanctioning of Azhar, the United States, Britain and France removed a reference to the February attack in the Indian city of Pulwama from their request to the U.N. Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee.
The 15-member committee, which operates by consensus, agreed on Wednesday to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze.
Azhar’s freedom within Pakistan has been a sore point in the relationship between Western countries and Pakistan, and has led to repeated accusations by India that Islamabad uses and harbors militant groups to further its foreign policy agenda. Pakistan denies such accusations.
A senior U.S. administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that Pakistan had taken some steps against Jaish-e-Mohammed after the Pulwama attack.