Masood Azhar declared global terrorist; China relents under Modi-engineered diplomatic pressure

This international development has come at a critically advantageous time for the ruling party BJP in India, as it bolsters Prime Minister Modi's assertion that he leads a strong, nationalist government

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New Delhi: As the Narendra Modi government mounted pressure on China via three permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) ― France, the United States and the United Kingdom ― China relented and withdrew its objection to declare terrorist Masood Azhar a global terrorist by. The UNSC has taken this action against the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed gangster Masood Azhar, as foretold on Sirf News on 1 May.

Jaish-e-Mohammed had attacked a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 February. The bus carrying jawans was blown up by a suicide bomber, killing 40 CRPF personnel. Since then, India was constantly trying to get Masood declared as a global terrorist. Now, 75 days after the massacre, India has tasted success.

This international development has come at a critically advantageous time for the ruling party BJP in India, as it bolsters Prime Minister Modi’s assertion during the Lok Sabha election campaign that he leads a strong, nationalist government. Indeed, seizing the opportunity, the prime minister and several other campaigners of the BJP sought credit for the UNSC declaration, adding that the previous government of the UPA, led by the Congress, couldn’t do it.

Not conceding moral defeat, the Congress nitpicked, saying that the UNSC declaration did not mention Pulwama.

The BJP pinned a post on its Twitter timeline, saying, “भारत को मिली आतंकवाद के खिलाफ ऐतिहासिक सफलता। (India’s historic success against terrorism)

संयुक्त राष्ट्र सुरक्षा परिषद में पुलवामा आतंकी हमले का दोषी मसूद अजहर अंतरराष्ट्रीय आतंकी घोषित। (In UNSC, Pulwama terror attack accused Masood Azhar declared global terrorist)

मोदी है तो मुमकिन है। (When there’s Modi, anything is possible) #DeshBoleModiPhirSe”

Following constant cajoling by India, three of the permanent members of the UNSC, the United States, Britain and France, were trying to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist, but China repeatedly vetoed the proposal. In nearly 10 years, China had vetoed the move four times. In 2009, 2016, 2017 and February 2019, China had struck down the proposal, but due to pressure at the international level, China finally consented to the UNSC declaring Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Indian Ambassador to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin gave this information on Twitter late last night. He said, “Big, small, all join together.

Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist in the @UN Sanctions list

Grateful to all for their support. 🙏🏽

#Zerotolerance4Terrorism”

France welcomes UN decision

France welcomed the Security Council decision. France actually led other big powers in trying to declare Azhar as a terrorist internationally for many years. The French government banned Masood on 15 March. Security Council has now put its stamp of approval on France’s efforts.

Implications of the declaration for Masood Azhar

  1. Masood Azhar’s movable and immovable properties will be freezed
  2. Masood Azhar will not be able to travel to UN member countries
  3. UN member countries will not be able to help Masood Azhar
  4. UN member countries cannot supply arms to him or his Jaish

Masood Azhar’s relentless attacks on India

The whole world knows that Masood Azhar is a terrorist and Pakistan is the sponsor and shelter of this terrorist. Since the 1990s, Masood Azhar has been active in Jammu and Kashmir.

In 1994, he was arrested in Srinagar. But, in the Kandahar swap under domestic pressure, the Indian government had to release him in exchange of the passengers of hijacked flight of Indian Airlines IC-814 who had been held hostage by members of Azhar’s terrorist gang. Since then, Masood Azhar became a matter of constant concern for India.

After being released from India, Masood Azhar formed the organisation named Jaish-e-Mohammed, which has so far carried out many terrorist attacks in India. The most vicious of these attacks were

  • Attack on Parliament House in 2001
  • Pathankot attack in 2016
  • Pathankot attack in 2018 and
  • Pulwama terror attack in 2019

These terror attacks attracted the attention of the whole world. Apart from this, in several terrorist attacks in Kashmir every day and encounters with the Army, Jaish-e-Mohammed is found to be the organisation to which the slain terrorists belonged.

Masood Azhar scurrying for cover

Following the UNSC declaration, global terrorist Masood Azhar is reportedly moving his base in Pakistan. While he has been domiciled in Bahawalpur, he was at the Rawalpindi base hospital of Pakistan Army when India carried out airstrikes on his terrorist training camp in Balakot.

Soon after India’s attack, Pakistan Army moved Azhar to Goth Ganni, Bahawalpur. Since the Balakot strike, Azhar has been scurrying for cover from one Pakistani location to another, say intelligence reports.

Why China did not agree until yesterday

Last week, Azhar was in Athmuqam, a terrorist camp near the Line of Control. Sources say he had anticipated the change in China’s stand. On its part, China, despite needing to safeguard the interest of its all-weather ally Pakistan, was uncomfortable with the idea that Azhar’s base was located right in the middle of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China was apprehensive that Azhar could harm its economic interests if it relented under India’s pressure. However, sources say, China had conveyed this to Pakistan and told the latter that Azhar had the potential to affect their bilateral relations. Concerned by the Chinese communiqué, Pakistan has been moving Azhar from one ‘safe house’ to another.

Azhar now enjoys the protection of 10 commandos of the Pakistan Special Service Group.

Since the resolution of the Doklam stand-off, China has realised India is a beneficial partner in its economic growth as much as it is not an adversary in geopolitical equations. Thereafter, any hint by Indian diplomats that the huge market for Chinese goods in India is at stake makes the northern neighbour take corrective measures in its bilateral relations with India as well as those with Pakistan.

Besides, while the Chinese military is several times bigger than the Indian counterpart, the difference wouldn’t be decisive in the scenario of a war, which was why the Indian forces’ dogged stand in Doklam paid off. Under the stewardship of Prime Minister Modi, Indian foreign missions have adopted this new, dual (commerce-military) pressure tactic, said an MEA source.