In its efforts to isolate Pakistan and blacklist Jaish-e-Mohammad, the terrorist organisation that claimed the responsibility for the Pulwama attack, the United Nations Security Council has issued a strong note of condemnation and named the Jaish-e-Mohammad. This is in lieu of Modi government’s continuous efforts in the wake of the attack to garner global consensus against Pakistan’s continued backing and support to terrorism.
The following is the statement by the UNSC – the United Nations’ apex principal organ comprising five permanent members the US, China, Russia, Great Britain and France and 10 non-permanent members, asking all member states to cooperate with India in bringing the Jaish to task:
“The member of Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in over 40 Indian paramilitary forces dead and dozens wounded on February 14, 2019, for which Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility. The member of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Indian people and the government of India, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Indian people and the government of India, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured,” it said. It also said that the members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. “The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice,” it said.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed”.
They reaffirmed the need for all states to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
The UNSC underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice.
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 22, 2019
The statement is significant because China has single-handedly blocked the efforts of India to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” at the UN Security Council Resolution 1267 sanctions committee for the last 10 years. At least three attempts in the last decade — in 2009, 2016 and 2017 — have been blocked by Beijing at Pakistan’s behest.
China had earlier issued a pair of statements where it had condemned the attack avoiding the name of JeM or Pakistan intentionally despite being asked specifically. It has also repeatedly vetoed India’s efforts to have Jaish chief Masood Azhar declared a global terrorist. A vast number of other countries, however, have come separately and together to back India, some, like the US, Russia and Israel, France, Iran making powerful statements.
The statement by the UNSC marks a clear shift as China signed off on the statement that “condemned in the strongest terms” the Pulwama terror attack and named Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad for the “heinous and cowardly suicide bombing”.
It is believed that France had taken the lead that “urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of India and all other relevant authorities in this regard”.
Sources said that while Beijing agreed to name JeM, which is a UN-proscribed terrorist group since 2002, it has not yet yielded on Azhar’s listing.
As the UNSC issued a statement against the Pakistan based terrorist organisation, Pakistan government too decided to “accelerate action against proscribed organisations” and reinstated a ban on 26/11 mastermind and UN-proscribed terrorist Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its surrogate, the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).
In February last year, former president Mamnoon Hussain promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act with regard to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the UN Security Council. The move had resulted in the declaration of JuD and FIF as proscribed groups.
As the Ordinance lapsed, the two Saeed-linked organisations had slipped off the national list of proscribed organisations. This time, the two organisations have been notified as proscribed organisations by the decision of Imran Khan’s PTI-led government during the National Security Committee meeting chaired by the PM and attended by Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and key federal ministers, services chiefs as well as heads of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI).
Before the government’s ban, the two organisations had been under watch by the Ministry of Interior under Section 11-D-(1), read with Schedule-II of the Anti-Terrorism Act of Pakistan.
The ban is believed to be a part of Islamabad’s playbook to ward off the international pressure each time a terrorist attack takes place. Moreover, it has done nothing to ban the activities of Masood Azhar or the JeM organisation, responsible for the Pulwama attack.
“That has been our demand. We are not going to be fooled by some cosmetic action here and there,” said a government source.
Imran Khan has told the National Security Committee that Pakistan has sincerely offered an investigation of the incident as well as the offer of dialogue on the issue of terrorism among other disputed issues. “We expect India to positively respond to the offers,” the statement said.
However, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had rejected the offer, calling it a “lame excuse”. “In the horrific attack in Mumbai on 26/11, proof was provided to Pakistan for the alleged involvement of Pakistan based terrorist organisation. Despite this, the case has not progressed for the last more than 10 years. Likewise, on the terror attack on Pathankot airbase, there has been no progress.
And on the offer of dialogue on terrorism, the MEA had again contended that India has repeatedly stated that it is ready to engage in a comprehensive bilateral dialogue in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.
India’s continued efforts will likely raise the International pressure on Pakistan to curb the menace of terrorism that is being spread from its soil and sincerely move to resolve the growing dangers of state-sponsored terrorism.