Masood Azhar as UN global terrorist: Know what it means


NEW DELHI: For the fourth time in the last 10 years, the sanctions committee of the United Nations Security Council will consider designating Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.

Indian jets bombed a JeM camp at Balakot in Pakistan last week after the terror group took responsibility for suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in J&K killing nearly 50 personnel. There are conflicting reports about Azhar, some even claiming that he died in the air strike. Pakistan has said he is being treated for renal failure.

This time France, the UK and the US have moved a fresh proposal for Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist. Russia, another permanent member of the Security Council, is expected to back the proposal. However, China, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council who hold veto powers, had earlier blocked the proposal on technical grounds. This time it might decide to back the proposal due to the glare on Azhar of the international community after the Pulwama attack.

But why is India so keen of getting Azhar designated by the Security Council Sanctions Committee? What happens when the committee designates someone as a global terrorist?

The Sanctions Committee of the UN Nations Security Council was established under Resolution 1267 in 1999, which imposed limited sanctions on the Taliban. Over time, the sanctions regime has evolved to include a lot of measures against designated individuals and entities.

Below are the three main results of sanctions imposed by the committee:

Asset freeze

All member states of the United National are required to freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

Travel ban

All member states are required to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by designated individuals.

Arms embargo

All member states are required to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.

The sanctions committee also oversees the implementation of the sanctions measures and reports annually to the Security Council on the implementation of these measures.

Azhar’s designation as a global terrorist will force Pakistan to act against him and individuals and entities associated with him. This will effectively mean total immobilisation of Azhar and shutdown of his organisation and its institutions such as terror camps and madrasas.

The chair of the UNSC sanctions committee has notified that unless he hears to the contrary by 3 pm on March 13, he will assume that its members have no objection to the addition of Azhar to the sanctions list under the Resolution 1267.


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