France freezes assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar

Arturo Kim
March 16, 2019

France has chose to freeze the assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) founder and leader Masood Azhar, the French government said on Friday.

It was the fourth time that the UN Security Council was considering a request to put Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), on the UN sanctions blacklist, which would subject him to a global travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo.

Regarded by Pakistan as its most reliable friend, China has repeatedly thwarted efforts to implement United Nations sanctions against Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 40 paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Masood Azhar, who founded JeM in 1999, is now believed to be the coordinator of the February 14 suicide bomb attack in Kashmir in which 40 Indian troops were killed.

The comment piece advised New Delhi to resort to quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to pressurize Beijing, the Azhar issue could have been better addressed. This has happened despite India's huge diplomatic pressure to ban the JeM chief, who is the mastermind behind the ghastly suicide bomb attack in Jammu and Kashmir, which left 44 CRPF jawans dead.

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In the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, Moneycontrol quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang as saying, "We firmly oppose and strongly condemn all forms of terrorism".

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China has said its move would give it time for a "thorough and in-depth assessment" of the case against Azhar.

India Today reported that India has also provided evidence to the United Nations in the form of audio tapes that link Azhar to JeM.

On Wednesday, the UN Sanctions Committee could not come to a decision on naming the JeM chief as a global terrorist after China put the proposal on hold. "China was isolated as it was the only UNSC member to oppose it", said Dr Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor in Chinese Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

With its geo-political and geo-strategic interests being in Pakistan (mainly the billions of dollars-worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure projects) China felt it was a better option to keep Pakistan and Azhar in good humour, as they would help safeguard its economic interests.

With the move blocked by China, India has to take the battle to the world stage. Be assured that India will win the fight against terror. India expressed its disappointment at the outcome.

He said the concerned institutions will have to abide by the laws and procedure on this issue.

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