Beijing, March 29: China on Friday said it was wrong to accuse it of sheltering terrorists because it put a technical hold on the resolution to blacklist Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group chief Masood Azhar as its decision was in line with the rules of an anti-terrorism panel at the UN.
China has repeatedly blocked resolutions moved by India, the US, the UK and France at the UN to declare Azhar an international terrorist, who is wanted for plotting deadly attacks in India.
Last month, India lamented and the US slammed the latest and fourth technical hold by China on the resolution to ban Azhar at the 1267 UN committee. His outfit JeM claimed responsibility for killing 40 Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir last month.
“If certain country accuses China of sheltering (terrorists) by putting such technical hold, does that mean that all countries that put hold are sheltering terrorists? If this makes sense, shall we say that the country that puts the most holds is the biggest protectors of terrorists?” asked Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang here.
He was responding to a question about Beijing being accused of shielding terrorists.
“At the UN Security Council sanctions committee, the practice of putting technical holds is in line with the stipulations of the committee. It is not China that has put the most hold at the committee,” Geng said.
“China put a technical hold with a purpose to conduct a comprehensive and in-depth assessment so as to give enough time and space to dialogue and consultation between the parties.
“China has stayed in close communication with all parties to seek a settlement through the dialogue. We hope all the members of the Security Council will work towards that goal,” the spokesperson added.
When asked about the time sought by Beijing to explain the rationale behind the latest technical hold was running out, Geng said: “China has stayed in close communication with all parties on the issue listing. Like we said many times, we will act in a responsible and constructive manner to participate in discussions at the committee.”
“We also hope to work with various parties as to seek a proper settlement of the issue.
“And it is improper for me to reveal to you the detailed discussions,” the spokesperson added.
The latest technical hold on the resolution by Beijing has prompted the US to turn directly to the UN Security Council and unilaterally circulate a draft of such a request to declare Azhar an international terrorist.
A livid Beijing on Thursday warned the US over the move, asking to act cautiously as its actions could complicate the matters.
Beijing also accused Washington of “bypassing” the UN 1267 Committee and eroding its authority.
By Gaurav Sharma