Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday expressed uncertainty on whether the designation of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’ had anything to do with the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the country.
“It (listing Masood Azhar) was long due, it is good that it has been done. This should have happened a long time ago. I don’t know if this has something to do with the elections,” he told reporters here.
Azhar, the head of Pakistan-based JeM that orchestrated the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, was designated as a ‘global terrorist’ by the United Nations after China also joined efforts to blacklist him.
The UN action comes a day after China called for “political consultation within the framework of 1267 Committee” to “properly resolve” the issue pertaining to the listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. China also underlined that “positive progress” has been made in the issue so far.
The issue gathered momentum last week with the visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing to attend China’s second Belt and Road Forum held from April 25-27.
On March 13, China, for the fourth time, had blocked a proposal by the US, the UK, and France, among others, to enlist Azhar as a global terrorist before the UNSC committee.
Beijing had defended its technical block on Azhar’s listing, saying it needed “more time” as it is “conducting a comprehensive and in-depth review” on the listing request put forth by the countries.
Following this, India had expressed its disappointment with China’s move to put a hold, and the United States had also said that the failure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist “runs counter” to Washington and Beijing’s goal of regional stability and peace.
A global terrorist tag under the UN’s 1267 committee would lead to a freeze on Azhar’s assets and a ban on his travel and constraints on possessing weapons.