Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar is likely to be designated as a global terrorist at the United Nations on May 1 as China has reportedly decided not to block India's request. Earlier, China had blocked India's four such attempts to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, much to the disappointment of the other members of the United Nations Security Council - the US, the UK and France. They have been standing by India's side, especially since the Pulwama terror attack on February 14.
If Azhar is designated as a global terrorist at the UN, this could be a big diplomatic win for the Narendra Modi-led BJP government which has been pressing the international community to act against JeM. The decision could pave a way for financial sanctions against the JeM on the lines of other terror groups such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
"May Day is going to be the death knell for Masood Azhar, as he will be designated as a global terrorist by the UN's Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, with Beijing caving in to the global demand led by the US, France and the UK that the main orchestrator of the Pulwama attack be brought to book," a senior official told Hindustan Times.
China gives in to international pressure?
Post the Pulwama terror attack, the members of the UN Security Council such as the US and the UK supported France's proposal to designate Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee. The members were given 10 days to raise any objection over the proposal. China blocked the decision on March 13, which was the last day of the deadline which is believed to be a move to please its all-weather friend Pakistan.
But post-China's fourth attempt to block India's demand of listing Azhar as a global terrorist, both the US and the UK are infuriated and have clearly expressed that a formidable action against the JeM chief will soon follow.
China seems to have finally shed its reluctance and agreed to the demand of the other UN Security Council members amidst the mounting pressure.
Masood Azhar is one of the most wanted terrorists in India, who has been accused of plotting various attacks on the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, attacking the parliament and the J&K Assembly in 2001, attacking the Pathankot air base in 2016 besides the recent Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF personnel.
Pakistan's External Affairs Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had recently stated that Masood Azhar is in Pakistan and is unwell. Post the Indian air strikes at the JeM training camp in Balakot, its chief is said to have moved to the safer Bhawalpur region with his family. Masood Azhar's two nephews were gunned down by the security forces in separate combat operations in Kashmir last year.