Azhar's designation as a global terrorist will force Pakistan to act against him. By Farooq Ganderbali
08 May 2019
In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations last week designated Moulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, a decade after New Delhi approached the world body for the first time on the issue.
But why was India so keen of getting Azhar designated by the Security Council Sanctions Committee? What happens when the committee designates someone as a global terrorist? Three main results of sanctions imposed by the UNSC include asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on JeM and Azhar.
All member states of the United National are now required to freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities. All member states are required to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals.
All member states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
Azhar's designation as a global terrorist will force Pakistan to act against him and individuals and entities associated with him. This will effectively mean total immobilisation of Azhar and shutdown of his organisation and its institutions such as terror camps and madrasas. Pakistan has already announced a freeze on Azhar’s assets.
But such interventions may not be enough to neuter the fangs of Azhar and the Jaish-e-Mohammad that has been responsible for several devastating terror strikes on Indian soil. LeT founder Hafiz Saeed’s fate sets a precedent in this context. Saeed and the LeT seem to have suffered minimally in spite of the sanctions that have been imposed against them. New Delhi would have to continue working on the international community so that the latter pushes Pakistan to act decisively to dismantle the terror factory that it has nursed over the years.
It would be a good idea for international donors to extend monetary assistance to Pakistan on the basis of the evidence of concrete action taken by Islamabad against terrorists. China’s willingness to remove the technical hold that had kept Azhar off the UN hook comes before the second informal summit with India. The gesture provides New Delhi and Beijing with an opportunity to improve their bilateral ties. Azhar’s embossment as a global jihadi thus opens — instead of closing — a chapter on several fronts.
Indian Air Forces bombed a JeM camp at Balakot in Pakistan on February 26th after the terror group took responsibility for suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in J&K martyring 40 personnel. There are conflicting reports about Azhar, some even claiming that he died in the air strike. Pakistan has said he is being treated for renal failure.
In March, France, the UK & the US had moved a fresh proposal for Azhar's designation as a global terrorist. Russia, another permanent member of the Security Council, backed the proposal. However, China, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council who hold veto powers, had earlier blocked the proposal on technical grounds.