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Innocent Admission

Masood Azhar resolution: MEA plays down omission of Pulwama

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New Delhi, May 2, 2019-

India on Thursday sought to downplay the omission of reference to the Pulwama attack in the UN Security Council resolution under which Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar was sanctioned but welcomed Chinas move to allow the proposal go through and said the ties with the country could become better.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also insisted that there was no deal with China which lifted its “technical hold” on the resolution that was pending before the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee for 10 years.

The decision of the Sanctions Committee came about two-and-a-half months after the JeM carried out a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama, killing 40 CRPF personnel.

However, the terror strike did not find a mention in the resolution adopted.

“Our objective all along had been designation of Masood Azhar as terrorist. The process started way back in 2009. Designation is not based on specific incident but on the basis of evidences, which we have shared with the members of the Sanctions Committee,” Kumar said at a press conference here.

He was responding when asked by reporters as to why the Pulwama attack did not find a mention in the UNSC resolution.

“Given the number of terrorist acts committed by Masood Azhar, it is not supposed to be a bio-data of all his terrorist acts. For us, what is important is that he has been designated as a terrorist. (But) the Pulwama attack did play a role in coming to this decision,” the MEA spokesman added.

Asked whether India had offered something to China in lieu of lifting its “technical hold”, Kumar said India does not negotiate with any country on terrorism and on matters related to the security of the country.

China had been blocking the proposal even after India provided ample evidence about the involvement of Azhar and his outfit in terror activities in this country. It blocked the move even in March, for the fourth time, despite the global outrage over the February 14 Pulwama attack.

However, it finally gave in amidst intense international pressure, particularly built by the countries like the US, the UK and France.

“China has already given an explanation why (technical hold) has been lifted and why Pulwama has been removed from the notification,” Kumar said.

After the resolution was adopted by the Sanctions Committee, China said on Wednesday that it ended its objection after India shared fresh evidence.

“After careful study of the revised materials and taking into consideration the opinions of relevant parties concerned, Chine does not have an objection to the listing proposal,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

About the India-China relations against the backdrop of its latest move, Kumar said the two countries are cooperating in a number of areas.

“We have earlier discussed Wuhan Spirit and the strategic guidance which flows out of it. And how it was agreed that during next informal summit in India we will try to take Wuhan Spirit forward,” he said.

“Now, there are many things that have happened and it is difficult to single out a single incident or one specific instance which will contribute to a better India-China relationship. But, of course, it is a welcome step,” he added. (Agency)

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