In a historic moment for India, the United States has said that Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar is a global terrorist. This remark comes ahead of the crucial United Nations Security Council meeting which will decide if the label of "global terrorist" should be given to the JeM leader.
"Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace," the US said on Tuesday evening, reports PTI.
Three permanent and important members of the UNSC – the US, the UK and France – have called for Masood Azhar to be categorized as a global terrorist. However, another global superpower and permanent member of the UNSC, China, has said that they will make attempts to block India's bid to label Masood Azhar as a 'global terrorist' in the UNSC.
Masood Azhar, the leader of the JeM, a terror outfit based in Pakistan, is said to be behind many attacks in India. Most recently, the JeM had claimed responsibility for the suicide blast in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, which martyred 40 CRPF jawans. The attack took place on February 14.
According to a report by Economic Times, to declare Masood Azhar a global terrorist, the United Nations will have to show evidence of his links with the Al-Qaeda. In 2011, a document was submitted in the UN establishing a relationship between Masood Azhar and Al-Qaeda's former chief Osama bin Laden. With this evidence, the UN can now ban Masood Azhar under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267.
The UNSC sanctions chair, which is currently Indonesia, has given a notice to all the countries in the sanctions committee that they have a deadline till 12.30 am Indian Standard Time (IST) till they hear any opposition on the matter. If no one steps forward by then, the committee will assume that everyone is on board and will go ahead and will add him to the 1267 ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions List.
"All that a member state has to do is fax or send a letter of objection to the Council. There is no meeting that will be held for this. If there is no objection then after 3 pm Azhar will automatically stand banned or listed which will be followed by a press release from the Council. But, if a technical hold is put on the proposal then there will be no formal announcement of the same," an official close to the matter told India Today.