Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar (File photo)
Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar (File photo)

'Process of enlisting Masood Azhar began after Pulwama attack'

ANI | Updated: May 03, 2019 17:56 IST

New Delhi [India], May 3 (ANI): The process for listing Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN got fresh momentum after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in South Kashmir, diplomatic sources said on Friday.
"The process of listing Masood Azhar was initiated after Pulwama attack. A strong statement was issued by UNSC (Security Council). Pulwama link is very obvious, it's a very factual process based on facts and evidence, have been in a position to provide sufficient evidence," the sources told ANI.
In a huge diplomatic victory for India, the United Nations on Wednesday (May 1) designated Azhar as a "global terrorist". The decision came after China lifted its technical hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council's Sanctions Committee.
The statement comes close on the heels of remarks by various parties including the Congress that the process to declare Azhar a global terrorist had first begun in 2009 under the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime.
"After the NDA govt let off Masood Azhar in 1999, India has been fighting for him to be declared a global terrorist since 2009 when the UPA govt first initiated it. We welcome the Security Council's decision & hope this brings justice to the families of those that lost their lives," the Congress had said.
It was in 2009 that India, for the first time under the UPA government, moved a proposal in the United Nations to Azhar as a designated terrorist under the 1267 United Nations Sanctions Committee. India once again pushed for the designation of Azhar in 2016, co-sponsored by the US, UK and France. In 2017, the three countries moved the proposal in the UN Security Council in a bid to list Azhar.
However, China blocked had previously blocked New Delhi's bid thrice -- in 2009, 2016 and 2017.
The Congress, however, expressed disappointment that the listing "does not mention Pulwama and Jammu and Kashmir" while recounting Azhar's role in terror activities.
In a statement released by Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on his Twitter handle, the party said it expected the Modi government to act with "greater speed" in pursuing the case with China as loss of precious lives in terror attacks like Pulwama could have been avoided.
"Pakistan based #MasoodAzhar's belated declaration as a global terrorist by UN is surely a welcome step," Surjewala tweeted.
"India's fight against terrorism is resolute."
"We are disappointed that UN listing doesn't mention Pulwama/J&K while listing Azhar's role in terrorist activities," he added.
The Modi government should now push for a declaration of bounty on Azhar's head as was ensured by the UPA in the case of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, the statement said.
A global terrorist tag under the UN's 1267 committee will lead to a freeze on Azhar's assets and a ban on his travel and constraints on possessing weapons.
Meanwhile, Azhar has been shifted to a safe house in Islamabad from his residence in Bahawalpur by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sources have said.
A dossier prepared by the government on the global terrorist which has also been shared with the international community, says that the Azhar was "put under house arrest at Markaz Subhan Allah in Bahawalpur, post 'Balakot Attack' (26.02.2019) and has been recently shifted to a Safe House in Islamabad." (ANI)