ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday slammed India’s bid to ban Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar at the United Nations, terming it a ‘politically motivated proposal’ aimed at “masking its own terrorist activities in Pakistan”.
Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, responding to reports that China had blocked India’s bid to blacklist the Jaish chief by moving the UN 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (the militant Islamic State group) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, said: “The 1267 Sanctions Committee related to ISIS/Al Qaeda has rejected a politically motivated proposal by India.”
The FO spokesperson lauded the blocking of the proposal as a rejection of “Indian attempts to politicise and undermine the work of this important committee of the Security Council.”
Without explicitly referring to JeM or Masood Azhar, Zakaria said India’s proposal was “replete with frivolous information and baseless allegations… had no merit and was primarily aimed at advancing its narrow national agenda.”
Following the Uri army base attack in India last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to step up a drive to isolate Pakistan internationally. Shortly after the attack, India conducted an alleged ‘surgical strike’ in Pakistan â”€ a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.
Intermittent ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and Working Boundary have become commonplace as tensions simmer between both countries.
Although PM Modi paid a ‘surprise’ visit to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday at the end of 2015 â”€ a move that appeared to promise better relations between the neighbouring countries in the coming year â”€ Pak-India ties in 2016 started off on a shaky note after the Pathankot siege which India blamed on Jaish-i-Mohammad.
Following Indian accusations of Jaish involvement in the attack, Pakistani authorities cracked down on the group, sealing a Jaish-run seminary in Sialkot and taking group leader Masood Azhar into protective custody.
The UN banned Jaish in 2001 but Indiaâ€™s efforts to get restrictions imposed on Azhar after the Mumbai attacks did not bear fruit because China did not allow them to be imposed.
On February 18, a list of 11 individuals and one organisation “linked to terrorism in India”, was submitted to the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (the militant Islamic State group) and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
China has, since then, blocked India’s proposal twice and extended its hold on India’s bid to ban the Jaish chief at the UN once.
Zakaria today alleged, “India has in fact deployed terrorism as an instrument of state policy, and has itself been involved in perpetrating, sponsoring, supporting, and financing terrorism” while claiming to denounce terrorism.
“It is clear that Indiaâ€™s unfounded allegations against Pakistan are in fact aimed at masking its own terrorist activities in Pakistan,” the FO spokesperson said.
He added that Pakistan had been a direct victim of India’s “state-sponsored terrorism”, referring to the arrest of suspected Research and Analysis Wing agent Kulbhushan Yadhav, which he termed as “yet another proof of Indian-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.”
“With such duplicitous behaviour and blood on its hands, India has little credibility on counter-terrorism,” he said, adding that Pakistan will share dossiers of alleged Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan with the UN and members of the international community soon.
Zakaria claimed that India’s statements are an attempt at “diverting the attention of the international community from the grave violations of human rights and state sponsored terrorism perpetrated by the Indian occupying forces in the Indian-held Kashmir as well as diverting the attention of the international community from the grave violations of human rights and state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated by Indian occupying forces in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.”
The FO said that Pakistan has made significant contributions and rendered enormous sacrifices in the success of the international communityâ€™s counter-terrorism efforts.
“We are deeply committed to this common cause and look forward to continuing close cooperation with the international community in this collective endeavour,” he said.