China has again blocked action in UN Sanctions Committee against Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader and 26/11 Mumbai attacks accused Sajid Mir, drawing strong criticism from India.
China's move to stymie the proposal, tabled by the US and co-sponsored by India, in the UN Security Council's 1267 Committee for subjecting Mir to an assets freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo, comes soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping met Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the recently-concluded 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.
Sources said China again provided a big favour to Pakistan, as the Sajid Mir matter was discussed there with both countries' top officials well aware of the proposal coming up in the upcoming UNGA Sanctioning Committee meet on September 17.
After his arrest in May this year, Mir was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years in prison along with a fine of Rs 420,000 in June, after which he is currently serving his sentence at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. But sources said that he is somewhere else in safe custody.
China's veto in the Mir matter was the third time such an action has been taken by it in recent times.
In the meeting of the Sanctions Committee in June, the joint resolution of India and the US to ban Abdul Rehman Maikki of the outlawed LeT was not allowed to be approved by China on technical grounds. He was accused of receiving money and helping terrorists.
Then, in August, a proposal co-sponsored by the US to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed's Abdul Rauf Asghar for his involvement in the 1999 hijacking of a US airliner, plotting the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001 and the Pathankot airbase attack in 2015, was again blocked.
National security experts said that the arrest of Sajid Mir was related to FATF and was necessary for Pakistan to get off its grey list.
Jaishankar strongly decried the move, and said that politics is coming in the way of sanctioning terrorists, allowing them impunity.
"Regrettably, we have seen this of late in this very Chamber, when it comes to sanctioning some of the world's most dreaded terrorists," he said in a reference to China blocking sanctions against the three.