France backs India’s efforts to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist
France will move a proposal at the UN to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar.
The proposal will be a boost to New Delhi’s efforts to designate Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN. Pakistan-based outfit JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
The French decision was discussed between Philippe Etienne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in New Delhi yesterday.
The proposal, when moved, will be fourth such bid at the UN in the past ten years. In 2009 and 2016, India moved the UN’s Sanctions Committee 1267 to ban Azhar, also the mastermind of attack on the airbase in Pathankot in January 2016.
India was joined by P3 countries, the US, the UK and France in the 2016 proposal. In 2017, these P3 countries moved a similar proposal at the United Nations. However, China has always blocked the proposal from being adopted by the UN.
Sources said France, a permanent member of the UN, is expected to be joined by other countries in the proposal. Sources also said that the country will insist on maintaining Pakistan on the “grey list” of countries at the ongoing meet of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris.
Pakistan was placed on the FATF grey list in June 2018 and put on notice to be blacklisted by October 2019 if it did not curb money laundering and terror financing.