Azhar’s listing victory for American diplomacy: US

Washington/United Nations: The designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council is a “victory for American diplomacy”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

“Congrats to our team @USUN for their work in negotiating JEM’s Masood Azhar’s #UN designation as a terrorist. This long-awaited action is a victory for American diplomacy and the international community against terrorism and an important step towards peace in South Asia,” the top US official tweeted.

In a huge diplomatic victory for India and a blow to Pakistan, the UNSC declared Azhar a global terrorist on Wednesday, a move that was blocked by China for nearly 10 years.

China finally dropped its objections after India shared fresh evidence to brand Masood an international terrorist.

“The US welcomes the addition of Masood Azhar to the UN 1267 ISIL and Al Qaeda Sanctions list,” a statement by a spokesperson for the US Mission in the UN said on Wednesday.

“This listing requires all UN member states to implement an assets freeze, a travel ban and an arms embargo against Azhar. We expect all countries to uphold these obligations.

“Jaish-e-Mohammed is a UN-designated terrorist group and Azhar, as the founder and leader of the JeM, clearly met the criteria for designation by the UN,” it said.

“The JeM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a serious threat to regional stability and peace. We appreciate Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stated commitment that Pakistan, for the sake of its own future, will not allow the operation of militant and terrorist groups from its territory,” the statement read.

“We recognize initial steps taken by the Government of Pakistan in this regard. We look forward to further and sustained actions from Pakistan as outlined in its National Action Plan and consistent with its international obligations,” it added.

Soon after the sanctions committee that deals with Al Qaeda and its affiliates voted on Pakistan-based Azhar’s designation placing him under stringent sanctions that includes a freeze on his assets and travel restrictions, Pakistan announced it would comply with the mandate.