By Sunil Garodia
The US has drafted a resolution to bypass the 1267 Committee and go to the Security Council directly on the issue of banning Masood Azhar, the chief of Jaish e Mohammed. This is the result of China regularly exercising its veto to put the issue on “technical” hold when the matter comes before the 1267 Committee. This has raised hackles in China. It is now accusing the US of undermining the Committee by directly going to the Council.
But where China is now finding itself in trouble is that in the Committee it could just use the veto without making the reasons public. Now, in the Security Council, even if it uses the veto, it will have to specify the reasons. China has been blocking attempts to ban Azhar only at Pakistan’s behest. So what reason will it now specify?
The Chinese anger at the US is highly misplaced. Going against the opinion of all other members of the 1267 Committee, China has been repeatedly blocking the resolution to ban Azhar without specifying the reasons. The veto is given to permanent members to prevent injustice. But what should be done if the veto is used to create injustice and that too without making the reason public?
The strangest thing in this issue is that Jaish e Mohammed itself has long been designated as a terrorist organization. How is it possible that an organization is banned but the person who runs it is allowed to escape censure or ban? China’s intransigence is beyond comprehension.
China has said that “the listing of Masood involves a series of complex factors, and China has also been working to seek proper solution through dialogue.” It further said that “this is in line with the rule of procedure of the committee and there are some precedent cases of such technical holds. Under the current circumstances, the Security Council should act in a prudential way to play constructive role and create necessary time and space for the relevant parties to conduct dialogue and negotiations.” But since this is going on for a long time and since JeM is already listed and banned, it is China that is neither playing a constructive role nor is acting prudently. The Security Council should respect global sentiment to overrule China and ban Azhar.