China willing to hold more talks with India, other parties concerned on blacklisting Masood Azhar

Beijing: China said on Friday it was willing to have more discussions with all parties concerned, including India, on blacklisting the head of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which claimed responsibility for the attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir in February.

China prevented a UN Security Council committee on Wednesday from blacklisting JeM founder Masood Azhar.

China willing to hold more talks with India, other parties concerned on blacklisting Masood Azhar

Indian Muslims stamp on a scratched photo of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, during a protest against Pakistan in Mumbai. AFP

India said it was disappointed at the block, which sparked calls for boycotts of Chinese products on domestic social media, while the United States said it was counter to a goal it shared with China of achieving regional peace and stability.

In a statement faxed to Reuters late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry reiterated that the “technical hold” on the blacklisting was to give more time for the committee to have further consultations and study on the issue.

China hopes the committee’s actions can “benefit reducing the tense situation and protect regional stability”, the ministry said, responding to a Reuters question on the boycott calls in India.

“China is willing to strengthen communication with all parties, including India, to appropriately handle this issue,” it added, without elaborating.

The United States, Britain and France had asked the Security Council”s Islamic State and Al Qaeda sanctions committee to subject Azhar to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

China had previously prevented the sanctions committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2009, 2016 and 2017.

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Updated Date: Mar 17, 2019 07:26:43 IST

Updated: March 17, 2019 — 2:32 am