Days after pledging to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, as a global terrorist at the UN, Paris has sanctioned him and frozen his assets in France.
A statement from the Government of France cited the attack at Pulwama on February 14, which claimed lives of more than 40 CRPF personnel, saying that Masood’s organisation, JeM claimed responsibility of the attack.
“France has decided to sanction Masood Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets in application of the Monetary and Financial Code. A joint decree of the Ministries of the Interior, and Economy and Finance was published today in the Official Gazette,” said a press statement from the Government of France that was also placed on social media by the French Ambassador to India.
Apart from creating hurdles for financial transactions, the sanction from France will also help in stopping travel by Azhar and his known followers.
The statement reiterated French support to India’s fight against terrorism. France had extended support to India’s international campaign to ban Masood Azhar as a terrorist who threatens global peace and safety.
“We will raise this issue with our European partners with a view to including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, based on this decree,” the press statement said.
France’s action is expected to put more pressure on Pakistan to act against the terror groups based in its territory. India has been demanding tough verifiable action against the terror groups and individuals like Masood Azhar.