The United States has said that Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is a threat to regional stability and peace and that China preventing the United Nations from designating JeM leader Masood Azhar as an international terrorist will run counter to the US and China’s shared goals for stability.
“JeM is a United Nations-designated terrorist group. Azhar is its founder-leader and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations as an international terrorist. JeM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace,” State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said at a briefing in response to a question from The Hindu.
A listing request, to designate Azhar as a terrorist, resulting in sanctions that include a travel and arms embargo as well as an asset freeze, is being considered at the UN Security Council. If no objections are raised by 3 p.m. on Wednesday (12.30 am Thursday IST), the designation goes through.
Remarks to the press by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday cast some doubt on whether China would let the process conclude or place a “technical hold” on it — as it has done several times in the past.
The U.S said on Tuesday that if China blocked the listing, it would run counter to the countries’ goals.
“I would say that the United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal,” Mr. Palladino said.
His comments come during Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s visit to Washington. Mr. Gokhale met Under Secretary David Hale on Tuesday and they discussed a range of issues, including cross-border terrorism, official press statements said.