India’s request on Masood Azhar with UN counter-terror body

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) India’s request to the UN to include the name of Masood Azhar, leader of the proscribed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist group, in its list of designated terrorists, is now with the world body’s Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), the government said on Thursday.

External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing here that on February 26, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin wrote to the chair of the 1267 Committee, who is the permanent representative of New Zealand, asking for Masood Azhar to be listed by the 1267 Committee.

“We also pointed out that it is incomprehensible that while the Jaish-e-Mohammed was listed way back in 2001 as a terrorist organisation, the leader of this organisation, Maulana Masood Azhar, continues to remain outside the purview of the 1267 Committee and continues to remain active in terror activities directed at India,” he said.

The JeM has claimed responsibility for the cross-border terror attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot in Punjab, in January that claimed the lives of seven Indian security personnel.

“We also pointed out that the Pathankot airbase attack has underscored the urgency of curbing the activities of the Jaish-e-Mohammed,” Swarup said.

He said the request has now been submitted to the CTED, which examines such requests from the technical point of view.

Once the CTED clears the request, it goes to the full 1267 Committee that comprises all 15 members of the UN Security Council which will then take the full political call.

“To the best of my knowledge, the CTED process takes anything between a fortnight and a month. So, that’s where we are at the moment,” Swarup said.

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