China prevented a United Nations Security Council committee on Wednesday from blacklisting the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which said it attacked an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir.
"China's move to hold the listing is inconsistent with its own stated goals of combatting terrorism and furthering regional stability in South Asia", said the diplomat, requesting not to be named to speak frankly, given that the deliberations of the United Nations sanctions committee are confidential, thus preventing member-countries from talking about it in public.
After the Pulwama suicide car-bombing by the JeM that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on February 14, France is spearheading a renewed effort with British and the U.S. backing to put sanctions on Azhar.
The Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee members had 10 working days to raise any objections to the proposal. Until now, all the P-3 countries- US, UK and France have co-sponsored the proposal except for China.
The Committee makes its decisions by consensus of its members.
This is the fourth time China has blocked such a move.
"We are grateful to all countries who supported the bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist", it said.
"China will adopt a responsible attitude and continue to participate in discussions", foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang had said before the UNSC session.
In 2009, India moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar.
China, which is one of the five veto-powered members of the Security Council, so far has been asserting that there is not enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist. An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.
The State Department said in a statement that Pompeo affirmed that the United States stands with the people and government of India in the fight against terrorism. China adopted responsible attitudes, follows rules and procedures of this committee and takes part in these discussions in a responsible manner, China had also said.
On Monday, India and the U.S. called on Pakistan to take "concerted action" to dismantle terror infrastructure and deny safe haven to all terror groups, reflecting the growing pressure on Islamabad to crack down on terror after the Pulwama suicide bombing.
Masood Azhar is the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which carried out a deadly suicide bombing killing 40 troops in Indian-administered Kashmir.