Hours after China blocked yet another attempt to blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist", a US diplomat at the United Nations Security Council warned that members "may be forced to pursue other actions". In an unusually tough message, the diplomat said Beijing "should not protect terrorists from Pakistan or any other country" if it is serious about combatting terrorism.
The remarks came after China - in a note accessed by NDTV - put a last-minute "hold" on a proposal moved by the US, UK and France to designate Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Security Council. China today defended its action, saying it "conducts thorough and in-depth assessment of these applications and we still need more time".
"This is the fourth time that China has placed a hold on this listing. China should not prevent the Committee from doing the job the Security Council has entrusted it to do," the diplomat said. "If China continues to block this designation, responsible member states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn't have to come to that," the diplomat said.
India said it was "disappointed" after the Chinese move, and 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.