India sent a strong but indirect message to Beijing a day after China blocked the former's bid in the United Nations to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist and to place a ban on him. China reportedly put the proposal on hold Thursday "in consultation" with Pakistan.
While JeM as a group has been blacklisted by the UN Security Council, Azhar's name is still not on the UN's al Qaeda-Islamic State blacklist, and India pushed for a ban on him after accusing him of masterminding the Jan. 2 Pathankot terror attack that left seven Indian army personnel dead.
Without naming China, Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup used stern words to criticise Beijing's move, while in Washington Friday
"We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad was listed ... as far back as 2001 for its well-known terror activities and links to al Qaeda, the designation of the group's main leader, financier and motivator, has been put on a technical hold," Swarup said in a statement.
"The recent terror attack in Pathankot on January 2 has shown that India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar. Given the global networking of terrorist groups, this has implications for the entire international community. This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism," the Indian official added.
India had submitted a formal request to the United Nation's 1267 committee in February to include Azhar's name on its sanctions list, but China Thursday requested the U.N. committee to hold the designation. China reportedly blocked India's bid in consultation with Pakistan, according to the Press Trust of India.
China also did not offer clear explanations for the move. "Any listing would have to meet the requirements," Chinese U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told Reuters.
Pakistan has also stopped short of holding Azhar accountable for the Pathankot terror attacks, claiming there has been no evidence against him.