China on Thursday said it needs more time to “assess” the India-US proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, hours after blocking the joint effort.
A day earlier, China had put a hold on a proposal by India and the US to designate Azhar, the brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar, as a global terrorist and subject him to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.
“We need more time to assess the application to schedule this individual. We hope relevant media will refrain from making groundless speculation,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the regular ministry briefing on Thursday.
Wang said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about designating terrorist organisations and officials.
“China has always strictly followed the rules and procedures of the committee and in a constructive and responsible manner participated in its work. We hope other members will also do the same,” Wang said in response to questions on the topic.
Pakistan-born Azhar, who is in his late 40s, was sanctioned by the US in December 2010.
This is the second time in less than two months that China has put a hold on a listing by the US and India to sanction a Pakistan-based terrorist under the sanctions committee of the UN Security Council.
In June this year, China had put a hold, at the last moment, on a joint proposal by India and the US to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki under the 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
China had similarly sought time to assess the case.
When asked about Makki’s case, Wang said, “We always strictly follow the UNSC committee’s rules and procedures and take part in its work in a constructive and responsible manner,” adding, “We hope relevant media will refrain from making groundless speculation”.