India accuses UN sanctions committee of protecting Pak-based terrorists

United Nations, March 12 (IANS) India has assailed the secretive “subterranean” working of the Security Council sanctions committee on terrorism, accusing it of allowing a system of “disguised veto” in blocking the listing of Pakistan-linked terrorists.

“For genuine, evidence-based listing proposals for globally sanctioned terrorists to be blocked. without giving any justification, is uncalled for and smacks of doublespeak when it comes to the council’s commitment in tackling the challenge of terrorism,” India’s Permanent Representative Ruchira Kamboj said on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council on its working methods, she said that “while we do get to know of the decisions of these committees on listing, the decisions on rejecting listing requests are not made public”.

“This”, she declared, “is a disguised veto”.

China has repeatedly blocked the listing of Pakistan-linked terrorists as international terrorists subject to UN sanctions.

The most recent action was blocking last year the designation of Laskhar-e-Taiba’s Sajid Mir, the mastermind of the 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2009, as a global terrorist by the body named the 1269 Committee for the Council resolution setting it up to sanction those with al-Qaeda, the Islamic State or related terror groups.

Calling for transparency in the working of the Council committees known as subsidiary bodies which were “inhabiting a subterranean world with their own custom-made working methods and obscure practices, which do not find any legal basis in the charter or any of the Council’s resolution,” Kamboj said that the selection of chairs of the panels should an open process with “exhaustive consultations”.

She pressed the case for Council reforms that expands both permanent and elected membership.

In a reference to the Council’s veto-wielding permanent membership frozen in the post-World War 2 era of the 1940s, she pointed out that “with both feet firmly fixed in the past” it has been unable to act on the wars raging in Ukraine and Gaza.

The “need is a Security Council that better reflects contemporary realities, the geographical and developmental diversity of the multipolar world of today, including the voices of the developing countries, and underrepresented regions like Africa, Latin America, and the vast majority of Asia and the Pacific,” Kamboj said.

“We ask those blocking progress on this vital issue to heed calls for genuine reform and contribute to making this Council truly fit for purpose for the 21st century,” she added.

The main hurdle to reforms is the position of a minority group, Uniting for Consensus, led by Italy and includes Pakistan as a leading member.

“We can no longer hide behind the smokescreen of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (for reforms) by delivering entrenched national positions in a process which has no timeframe and no text,” she said.

The backdrop of Ukraine and Gaza and as such, the question as to how much the Security Council has been able to deliver on peace and security, with both feet firmly fixed in the past is a larger question.

She said the negotiations should be based “on text and not through speaking as each other or past each other as we have done for the past three decades”.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at arul.l@ians.in and followed at @arulouis)

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