Masood Azhar a global terrorist, says US ahead of crucial meet

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 13, 2019 11:47 hrs
Speculation over Masood Azhar's whereabouts

New York: Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be designated as a global terrorist and not doing so is against regional stability and peace, the US said on the eve of the UN Security Council making a crucial decision in this regard.

The JeM, headed by the 50-year-old Azhar, carried out many terror strikes in India and was involved in the attack on Parliament, the Pathankot air force base, army camps in Jammu and Uri, and the latest suicide attack on Central Reserve Police Force in Pulwama which claimed the lives of 40 personnel.

In the aftermath of the February 14 attack in Pulwama, three permanent members of the United States Security Council - the United States, Britain and France - have moved a resolution to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

Several previous attempts by these three countries inside the UNSC were blocked by China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan.

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.

Amidst a mounting global outrage in the wake of the Pulwama attack that led to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan, US, Britain and France hope that Beijing would act wisely and would not oppose their move this time to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.

On the eve of the crucial decision by the UN Security Council, the Trump Administration made it clear that there is enough evidence against Azhar to designate him as a global terrorist.

"Azhar is the founder and the leader of the JeM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters at his daily news conference.

The JeM, he said, has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.