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China to again Block Resolution Declaring Masood Azhar as Terrorist

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Hua-Chunying is Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry
Hua-Chunying is Deputy Director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department of the People's Republic of China. IANS

Beijing, October 30: In a setback to India, China will block the US resolution at the UN this week to declare Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar an international terrorist.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council was yet to reach the consensus to ban Azhar, who is the mastermind of the deadly terror attack at an Army base in India last year.

“As for the listing application by the relevant country, there are disagreements. China put the technical hold so as to allow for more time to deliberate on this matter. To our regret, the Committee so far has yet to reach consensus,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

China has repeatedly scuppered India’s effort to have Azhar declared an international terrorist.

After Beijing blocked and put a technical hold on India’s application that lapsed last year, the US in January put a fresh proposal – backed by France and the UK – to designate Azhar an international terrorist.

Beijing again put a technical hold on the proposal till August and extended it for another three months. The technical hold expires on Thursday this week. (IANS)

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No Safe Haven for Terrorists in the Country, Asserts Pakistan ; Becomes Vary of Coercive Action by the US

Rejecting claims of terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan, Pakistani Defense minister has asserted that his country is not feeling threatened by the U.S. following Trump's harshly worded speech.

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terrorists in Pakistan
Pakistan police officers fire tear gas shell to disperse Shiite Muslims during an anti-U.S rally, when they tried to march toward the U.S. consulate, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) (VOA)
  • U.S. President Donald Trump in his speech called out Pakistan for harboring terrorist organizations, including the Taliban and Haqqani network
  • US considering strict measures like increasing diplomatic and economic pressure, and intensifying anti-terrorism drone strikes to keep terrorist sanctuaries under check in Pakistan
  • Pakistani ministers have rejected claims of hosting any terrorist sanctuaries 

Islamabad, September 6, 2017 : Pakistan says it seeks to amicably resolve issues with the United States, cautioning “any [coercive] American action” would cause instability in the country.

The remarks by Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan came days after U.S. President Donald Trump singled out Pakistan for harboring terrorist organizations, including the Taliban and Haqqani network, which destabilize Afghanistan and plot attacks on American troops there.

Trump did not outline what actions he might order to pressure Islamabad to move against the alleged terrorist sanctuaries. A range of punitive measures reportedly is being considered, though, such as increasing diplomatic and economic pressure, and intensifying and expanding anti-terrorism drone strikes inside Pakistan.

terrorists in Pakistan
Pakistani protesters burn posters of U. S. President Donald Trump in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. Protesters have rejected Trump’s allegation that Islamabad is harboring militants who battle U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad) (VOA)

Speaking to reporters Tuesday in Islamabad, Defense Minister Khan again rejected that there are any terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan. He said Pakistani security forces already have taken action against all terrorist groups and are in the process of eliminating their “remnants” in the country.

Minister Khan also cited U.S. military assessments that say less then 60 percent of Afghan territory is under the control or influence of the Kabul government.

“That is why we are all gravely concerned about the fact that 40 percent of Afghanistan has perhaps become a safe haven [for terrorists],” he said.

US relationship

The Pakistani minister added that his country is not feeling threatened by the U.S. following the harshly worded Trump speech.

“However, we are maintaining an extremely strict monitoring of our land, sea and air frontiers,” noted Khan.

He sounded upbeat, though, about “better and quality future engagements” between Islamabad and Washington.

Khan said the Pakistani foreign minister, Khawaja Muham­mad Asif, plans to travel to Washington for official talks after consulting key regional partners, including China, Russia, Iran and Turkey.

“We are trying to resolve the issues amicably because any American action would cause instability in Pakistan,” the defense minister warned.

BRICS on terrorism

On Monday, China, and the four other countries that comprise the BRICS group of major emerging economies — India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa — agreed to boost cooperation against terrorist organizations threatening the region.

A statement issued after a BRICS’ leaders’ summit hosted by China contained the names of Pakistan-based, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad militant groups blamed for orchestrating attacks against India. Pakistani authorities already have outlawed the organizations.

terrorist in Pakistan
In this April 3, 2012, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, talks with the Associated Press in Islamabad, Pakistan. (VOA)

Responding to the BRICS’ announcement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said it also is concerned about the threat posed by terrorism and extremism in South Asia.

In a brief statement, the ministry pointed to the presence of terrorist groups in “the ungoverned spaces of Afghanistan,” including the Pakistani Taliban and its associates like Jamaatul Ahrar, Islamic State and anti-China militants.

“Pakistan also remains concerned at the rise of extremist ideologies and intolerance in the region encouraging social stratification and systematic targeting of minorities,” the statement reads.

Islamabad alleges that India is partnering with the Afghan intelligence agency to support anti-state militants sheltering in Afghanistan to plan attacks against Pakistan, charges Kabul and New Delhi reject. (VOA)

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Failure to Impose sanctions on Leaders of Terrorist Organisations is eroding the UN’s Authority, warns India

China has used its veto to provide cover for Jaish-e-Mohammad's Pakistan-based head, Masood Azhar, from sanctions

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United Nations, Flickr

– by Arul Louis

United Nations, Nov 18, 2016: Failure to impose sanctions on leaders of terrorist organisations is eroding the UN’s authority, India has warned.

If the Security Council and its agencies did not come up with a “cohesive response to global terrorism they run the risk of becoming marginalised from the most fundamental security priorities of member states whose fabric is being torn asunder by terrorists,” India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said on Thursday during a General Assembly debate on Afghanistan.

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He reiterated a demand India made in June for designating Taliban chief Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as a terrorist and making him face the penalties of UN sanctions.

“The international community is impatient for action,” Akbaruddin said.

“Earlier this week, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan himself asked a delegation of the UNSC (Security Council) Sanctions Committee to include this person, and such others, in the list of terrorists,” he said.

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The working of the Sanctions committee has been a sore point for India. China has used its veto to provide cover for Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Pakistan-based head, Masood Azhar, from sanctions.

India says he is the mastermind of the January terrorist attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot.

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Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative Mahmoud Saikal also raised the problem of the Taliban and other terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.

Without directly naming it, he accused Pakistan of waging a “thinly disguised declared war” against his country by using the Taliban and other terrorist orgnisations, including the Haqqani network and the Islamic State.

He warned Islamabad, “Those who seek solace from the intention of keeping Afghanistan bleeding must remember that such actions would bleed them, too, and warrant international isolation.” (IANS)

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Pakistan declines India’s offer of joint investigation

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Islamabad: Pakistan declined India’s proposal to jointly investigate Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar and other suspects linked with Pathankot airbase attack, official sources said.

Pakistan authorities arrested Masood Azhar after the terrorist attack at Pathankot airbase on Jan 2. A number of suspects are arrested and authorities closed down several JeM-run madarsas (seminaries) in different cities, The Nation reported on Monday.

Azhar, was released by India in 1999 in exchange for 155 passengers of the Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and was quizzed by the investigators. The JeM chief’s brother Mufti Abdul Rehman Rauf was also detained, officials said on Saturday.

Pakistan is supposed to send a special investigating team to Pathankot in consultation with the Indian government for further investigations.

On January 2, some militants suspected from neighboring country attacked the Pathankot airbase, heavily armed. While neutralising the attack, seven security personnel lost their lives.

Due to the incident, Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to postpone scheduled diplomatic talks till the end of this month.

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande said India was “fully justified” in asking Pakistan for justice against the perpetrators of Pathankot attack.

Hollande said India and France were “united in their determination to act together against terrorism”.

India demanded, to let investigation against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and his brother. But Pakistan refused.

Pakistan assured India that Islamabad is investigating the case and will take action if anyone is found guilty, Official said.

“India wants us to hand over Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed and as we have declined a number of times, they want us to at least give access to the investigators to interrogate them. We have told them it was not possible,” he added.

Another official said investigators were interrogating the suspects arrested in the Pathankot case.

He said that Indian authorities are in contact with and is being updated timely. Pakistan has already submitted the initial report to India regarding Pathankot attack.

The phone numbers used by attackers were not registered therefore it is not possible to trace the numbers.

They have been working on the leads given by India to find out if Pakistan’s soil was used in the plot, he said.

Analyst Brigadier (retd) Agha Hussain Ahmed said the basic motive of terrorists behind this attack was to derail the recently initiated peace process between Pakistan and India.

“Pakistan has assured the Indian government of its full support in this regard and demanded India to hand over the proofs and evidence against any Pakistani involvement to take further action. Investigation of our citizens must be held in Pakistan,” he added.

Defence analyst Mohammed Khan said the two countries needed to see who was behind the attack on Pathankot airbase in India.

“Pakistan warmly welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his arrival to Lahore. The international community appreciated the meeting between the two premiers and stressed to resolve all matters by using the option of dialogue. After the Pathankot incident, Indian media said the military establishment of Pakistan is against the talks between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Mohammed Khan said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Raheel Sharif both are under pressure and they will fully cooperate with India in eliminating and countering terrorism.

He said that they cannot hand over its citizens to India or any other country for investigations.(IANS)