The United States, Britain and France on Wednesday proposed that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. They have asked the 15-member Security Council sanctions committee to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, global travel ban and asset freeze.
The United States State Department also called on India and Pakistan to cease all cross-border military activity and return to stability. It has urged both sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation, including direct communication. Further military activity will exacerbate situation, reports news agency ANI. “Cross-border terrorism, such as recent attack on India’s CRPF, poses grave threat to security of the area. We reiterate our call for Pakistan to abide by its United Nations Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven & block their access to funds,” the US State Department said.
However, the move is likely to be opposed by China, which previously prevented the Security Council’s Islamic State and al Qaeda sanctions committee from sanctioning JeM leader Masood Azhar in 2016 and 2017, as reported by Reuters. China’s UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new proposal.
The Security Council condemned the February 14 attack in a statement last week, which was agreed after several days of negotiation. Diplomats said China had been opposed to a reference of JeM, however, the agreed statement did eventually note that JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On February 14, the Azhar Mehmood-led Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 personnel at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir. India launched a major diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. The government slammed Pakistan for using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. India has also asked Pakistan to take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control.