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China blocks India’s bid to sanction Masood Azhar again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China’s decision to once again block the proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist under the “1267 regime” has triggered a sharp reaction from India.China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move with a six-month technical hold followed by a three- month extension. Officials here say that India may have to apply again to the 1267 Committee with charge sheet details to press for its case as its present application will lapse following Beijing’s two technical holds.Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup termed Beijing’s decision as an “unfortunate blow” and a step that confirms the prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism.India had approached the UN in February to include Azhar (for his link with al Qaeda) in the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions list in the aftermath of the January 2 terror attack on the Pathankot air base by JeM terrorists. The resolution will now go into cold storage, till a fresh listing is demanded by a UN Security Council member.He said that the international community is aware that JeM, which is proscribed by the UN, has been responsible for innumerable terrorist attacks on India, including the one on Pathankot air base. “The inability of the international community to list its leader Masood Azhar is an unfortunate blow to the concerted efforts to effectively counter all forms of terrorism, and confirms the prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism,” he said.Swarup further said that China’s decision is surprising as it has been affected by the scourge of terrorism and has declared opposition to all forms of terrorism. “As a consequence of this decision, the UN Security Council has again been prevented from acting against the leader of a listed terrorist organisation,” he added. India had expected China to be more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism and join India and others in fighting the common challenge of terrorism.Earlier also, India had expressed anger at the working methods at the UNSC, which is based on the principles of unanimity. Following the attack on US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other associated groups in 1999, the Security Council passed a resolution known as “Resolution 1267” or “1267 Regime” under Article 41 of the UN, which established a sanction regime to cover individuals and entities associated with al Qaeda, Laden and/or the Taliban.The 1267 Resolution reads as follows: “The Security Council may decide what measures, not involving armed forces, are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”The resolution requires countries to immediately freeze funds, financial assets or economic resources of individuals and entities designated by the UNSC with terrorism and terrorist financing.China was the only member in the 15-nation UN body to put a hold on India’s application.

China blocks India’s request for U.N. to blacklist Masood Azhar | Reuters

NEW DELHI China has blocked India’s request to add the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda, India said on Friday.India has accused Jaish-e-Mohammad and its top leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, of masterminding several attacks, including a deadly assault on an Indian air base in January.Pakistani security officials interrogated Azhar and his associates after the attack, and said they found no evidence linking him to it.Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said that India had requested that Azhar be added to the list nine months ago and had received strong backing from all other members of the council.But China, which put a hold on the move in April, had now blocked it, he said.

“We had expected China would have been more understanding of the danger posed to all by terrorism,” he said in a statement.Swarup added that the inability of the international community to take the step showed the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism”.China’s foreign ministry said there were different views about the case, so China had put forward a “technical shelving” to give more time for consultation, but that regretfully no consensus had been reached.

China’s aim is to maintain the authority and effectiveness of name listing by the committee discussing the case, which accords with Security Council resolutions and is the responsible thing to do, it said in a statement sent to Reuters.China will continue to maintain communication with all parties, it added.

India has long accused its neighbour and rival Pakistan of using Jaish-e-Mohammad as a proxy to mount attacks on Indian soil, including in the disputed Kashmir region, and earlier gave what it called “actionable intelligence” to Pakistan, including telephone intercepts.Pakistan denies giving any aid to Kashmir-based militants.If Azhar was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal in NEW DELHI and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; editing by Mike Collett-White and Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

First Published On : Dec 30, 2016 19:02 IST

Agni V test firing: India’s nuke capabilities not targeted against any nation, says MEA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Maintaining that its strategic capabilities were not targeted against any particular country, India on Tuesday said it abides by all applicable international obligations and expects others do the same, while responding to Chinese reaction to its test-firing of Agni V missile.”India’s strategic capabilities are not targeted against any particular country. India abides by all the applicable international obligations and hopes that all other do the same. “India’s strategic autonomy and growing engagement contributes to strategic stability,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.The Spokesperson’s remarks came after Chinese Foreign Ministry hoped that India’s test-firing of the nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile that could cover all of China complied with UN Security Council rules and safeguarded South Asia’s strategic balance. Even as Beijing maintained that the two nations are “not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation”, it took exception to media reports that the successful test of Agni-V was meant to target China.Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying in Beijing said,” We have noted reports on India’s test fire of Agni-5 ballistic missile. The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons”. “China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond.” India had yesterday successfully test-fired Agni-V, the country’s most lethal nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missile with a range of over 5,000 kms that covers entire China which may also pave the way for user trial of the weapons system and its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

India’s ‘belligerence’ could lead to ‘strategic miscalculation’: Pakistan to P5

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian “belligerence” is a threat to regional peace and can lead to “strategic miscalculation”, Pakistan told the envoys of the P5 countries here while briefing them over alleged “ceasefire violations” by India.Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz briefed the heads of missions of the P5 — the US, China, Russia, the UK and France — on the “continued unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB), the Foreign Office here said.Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement that representatives of China, France, Russian Federation, the UK and the US were briefed at the foreign ministry.Aziz stated that the Indian “belligerence” is a threat to the regional peace and security and can lead to a strategic miscalculation, which would be disastrous for the region, the Foreign Office said.The Adviser strongly condemned the “reprehensible attack on the civilian bus in the Neelum Valley on November 23 in complete violation of the 2003 ceasefire understanding and international law, especially the international humanitarian law,” the statement said.”The Indian forces also fired upon the ambulances that had come to rescue the injured people from the site of the attack. The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is condemnable and deplorable and must be investigated,” Aziz was quoted as saying. Aziz referred to persistent “ceasefire violations” by India, especially during the last two months which he claimed had resulted in the loss of more than 45 civilian lives and caused injuries to more than 139 others along the LoC and WB in an effort to divert international attention from the continuing “human rights violations in the Kashmir”.Aziz has also addressed letters to the Foreign Ministers of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, on the escalation along the LoC and Indian ceasefire violations, the Foreign Office here said.Copies of these letters were also handed over to the heads of missions, it said. Aziz called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council to play a crucial role in maintaining global peace and security and urge India to immediately put an end to the “escalation and bloodshed” at the LoC, it added.

UN should do more to send right message to terror groups: India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that the UN should do more to send the right message to terror groups, India has said that the inconsistent implementation of sanctions on some of the terrorist outfits eats away at the UN’s authority.”The United Nations must do more to send the right message. Inconsistent implementation of sanctions on some of these terrorist outfits eats away at the UN’s authority and needs to be addressed,” Indian Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin said in his address to the UN General Assembly. “The leader of the Taliban – a proscribed entity – needs to be designated as a terrorist individual. The international community is impatient for action,” the Indian diplomat said.Earlier this week, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani himself asked a delegation of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee to include the new Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah (Akhundzada) and such others, in the list of terrorists. “Unless the Security Council and its subordinate organs are part of a cohesive response to global terrorism they run the risk of becoming marginalised from the most fundamental security priorities of Member States whose fabric is being torn as under by terrorists,” Akbaruddin warned.Addressing the UN General Assembly as it adopted an unanimous resolution on Afghanistan, he said the security challenges faced by the Afghan people and Government have not receded. “We note that Afghanistan, along with the Resolute Support Force, continues to make efforts to combat terrorism,” he said. “However, the shadowy supporters of some of these terrorist organisations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, ISIS, AI-Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed have not been deterred, as is reflected in the upwards trend in the toll of causalities,” the diplomat said.The resolution unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly pledged its continued support, in particular as the Afghan Government rebuilt a stable, secure and economically self-sufficient State free from terrorism and narcotics while strengthening the foundations of its constitutional democracy. At the same time, it heard expressions of alarm over recent spikes in civilian casualties and the influence of violent extremists.In her address, Pakistan Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said the presence of large numbers of terrorists, foreign fighters and militant groups in the vast ungoverned areas of Afghanistan presents an imposing challenge to the` long-term stability of the war-torn country. “They pose a threat not only to Afghanistan but also to Pakistan and indeed the entire region. Afghanistan could once again become a source of global terrorism, with grave implications for the region and the world,” Lodhi said. “A dialogue between the Afghan Government and the Afghan Taliban remains the only way to end Afghanistan’s long night of suffering,” she added.

Pakistan says OIC backed it over Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Thursday said the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has backed its stance over Kashmir by adopting a resolution upholding Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.OIC Foreign Ministers met in Tashkent on October 18-19 for the 43rd Session and adopted a very strong resolution on the “grave human rights situation in Kashmir”, Pakistan Foreign Office said. While upholding Kashmiris right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the grouping reaffirmed its unwavering support to the just cause of Kashmiri people, expressed deep concern and condemned in strongest possible terms the unabated killing of defenceless Kashmiris. The grouping said that demonstrations by unarmed Kashmiris, despite curfew in the wake of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani s death is a referendum against India, it said.It also rejected Indian attempts to equate the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris in Kashmir with terrorism. Stressing that “Jammu and Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India”, the grouping said its resolution is indispensable for realisation of the dream for peace in South Asia. Condemning in strongest possible terms the unabated killing and brutality let loose in Kashmir, the grouping expressed shock at the deadly silence of world community.They also condemned prolonged detentions of Kashmiri leaders by India and violations of freedom of movement and expression. Acknowledging that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the party principle to the dispute, the resolution said they should be included in Pakistan-India dialogue process. The grouping regretted that India is not allowing OIC fact finding Mission to visit Kashmir or responded favourably to the offers of the Good Offices Mission by the OIC.They called upon India to implement numerous UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir which declare that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people, to join India or Pakistan, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. They reminded “the international community of its obligations to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and fulfil the promises made by it with the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Kashmir can never be ‘integral part of India’; dispute a ‘failure of the UN’, says Pak envoy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back at Pakistan for again raising the Kashmir issue at the UN, India termed the country as a “fly by-night operator” saying Islamabad “flagrantly” misuses the forum of the world body for its “territorial aggrandisement”. Exercising the Right of Reply, Minister in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Srinivas Prasad, strongly rejected remarks made by Pakistan’s envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, in which she had said that the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in Kashmir is the “most persistent” failure of the UN.”We are constrained to take the floor to exercise our Right of Reply because we have just heard one country Pakistan make reference to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in a rather self-serving and disingenuous attempt to bring an extraneous issue to this committee,” Prasad said during the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee here on Friday.Rejecting Lodhi’s comments entirely, Prasad said “Pakistan, acting like a fly by-night operator, has attempted to flagrantly misuse the forum provided by the Committee for its territorial aggrandisement”. He asserted that Kashmir is not on the agenda of the committee, which is focussed on decolonisation and “non-self governing territories”. Lodhi raking up the Kashmir issue in the committee that focuses on decolonisation reflects yet another failed attempt to bring the issue on the agenda of this Committee, he said. “The issue is rightly not on the agenda of the Committee which looks after the non-self governing territories,” Prasad said adding Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. He said “Pakistan will be well advised not to disrespect the intelligence of the Committee and abide by its agenda”.Raising the Kashmir issue again at the UN, Lodhi had said the decolonisation agenda of the UN will remain “incomplete” without resolution of the Kashmir dispute, which is among the oldest items on the UN’s agenda. She claimed for over six decades, the UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented. “This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she said adding that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen “broken promises and brutal oppression”.Claiming that Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be” an integral part of India, she said it is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with resolutions of the UN Security Council.Lodhi claimed the Kashmiris have risen again in unison against occupation through the “ongoing indigenous uprising”. She alleged that Indian forces have injured thousands of Kashmiris, calling it “the worst form of state terrorism and a war crime, which India has perpetrated by its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir for decades”. Lodhi said the UN has a moral responsibility to people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation. “There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism. We hope that we will be able to achieve this shared goal sooner rather than later,” she said.

Non-implementation of Kashmir resolution is UN’s failure: Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raking up the Kashmir issue again, Pakistan has said the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in the Valley is the “most persistent” failure of the United Nations.”The decolonisation agenda of the United Nations will remain incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, among the oldest items on the UN’s agenda,” Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said at a debate on Friday of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee in the General Assembly. She said for over six decades UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented.”This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she said adding that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression. She asserted that Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be” an integral part of India but is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.Lodhi said the the United Nations has a moral responsibility towards people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation.”There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism. We hope that we will be able to achieve this shared goal sooner rather than later,” she said.

If ‘Kashmir issue’ had been ‘solved’, Shashi Tharoor would have been Secretary General of UN: Pak envoy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s failure to resolve the Kashmir issue and improve relationship with Pakistan has been an “impediment” to India’s rise and become the greatest hurdle in it becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the NSG, Pakistan Prime Minister’s envoys claimed. “What is the incentive (for peace talks). The biggest incentive in failure to resolve Kashmir and improve relationship with Pakistan is (the) single biggest obstacle to peace security and stability in South Asia. It is an impediment to India’s rise,” Special Kashmir Envoy of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Mushahid Hussain Syed, said here.Syed along with Shazra Mansab, who is another Kashmir Envoy, are currently visiting the US as part of the Pakistani effort to apprise the international community of the current situation in Kashmir and allegations of human rights violations in the Valley. Responding to a question in their joint appearance at the Atlantic Council – a top American think-tank – Syed warned that New Delhi’s inability to resolve the Kashmir issue and improve ties with its neighbour Pakistan would prevent India from becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”It is an impediment to India’s economic development. If Kashmir had been solved, Shashi Tharoor would have been Secretary General of the United Nations. If Kashmir had been resolved India would have been in Nuclear Suppliers Group.”If Kashmir would have been resolved, India would have been permanent member of the UN Security Council. But as long as you have disputes with your neighbour, you have a lingering dispute under the United Nations resolutions, which you have promised to implement and you are not implementing them for expediency reasons, you can’t be at the high table in the world of global politics,” Syed said.To another question, Syed warned that any violation of the Indus Water Treaty would be considered as an “act of war” and a “violation” of the international treaty.Stating that India too might face similar problems on its Brahmaputra river, which originates from China, the Pakistani official threatened this would “boomerang” on India.”It’s not (just an issue) between India and Pakistan. It (involves) World Bank. If you start doing that, we are a lower riparian, but do not forget one thing, India is some lower riparian vis-a-vis China. And the Brahmaputra river has origins there. It is going to boom rang on you. That would be disastrous,” he said.Earlier in their remarks, both Syed and Mansab reiterated the allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir and described slain terrorist Burhan Wani as a “freedom fighter”.Syed said there have been, however, positive developments in Indo-Pak ties recently, with the national security advisors from the two countries establishing a contact.However, the envoys had to face tough questions on human rights violations inside Pakistan from people belonging to Balochistan, Sindh and Pak- occupied Kashmir, who accused the Pakistani establishment of grave violation of human rights, extra-judicial killings, and arrests and tortures by Pak Army and ISI besides raising questions on “duplicity” of Pakistan with regard to fight against terrorism.

India criticises UNSC for being indecisive about sanctioning leaders of terrorist entities

United Nations: India strongly criticised an “unresponsive” Security Council on Wednesday for being indecisive about sanctioning leaders of organisations it itself designates as terrorist entities after China extended its “technical hold” on India’s bid for a UN ban against JeM chief Masood Azhar.

File image of India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin. Facebook

File image of India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin. Facebook

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin told the UN General Assembly that the 15-nation Security Council, the “principal organ” tasked with the maintenance of peace and security, has in a variety of ways become “unresponsive to the needs of our time and ineffective to meeting the challenges it is confronted with”.

Without naming China, Akbaruddin referred to its technical hold on India’s bid against Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar, saying the Council is a body that “ponders for six months on whether to sanction leaders of organisations it has itself designated as terrorist entities”.

“Then, unable to decide, it gives itself three more months to further consider this issue. One has to expectantly wait for nine months before the process is completed to know if Council members have decided on a single issue,” he said in the General Assembly debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organisation.

On 31 March this year, China – a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council – had blocked India’s move to put a ban on Azhar under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. China was the sole member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the
1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.

The Chinese technical hold had lapsed on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist would have been passed automatically. However, Beijing on Saturday announced the extension of its “technical hold”.

“The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said in Beijing. Akbaruddin said in certain instances, the Council does not even begin the nine-month process of identification and listing of publicly announced leaders of listed entities.

“At best, it is now a body that can be described as an interesting and random mix of ad-hocism, scrambling and political paralysis. This global governance architecture now calls for comprehensive reform,” the Indian envoy said.

China speaks up against ‘cross-border terrorism’ but continues veto against India’s Azhar petition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after extending its blockade on India’s move to impose a UN ban on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar, China called for a stronger global response to curb cross-border movement of foreign terrorists.Speaking at a meeting on counter-terrorism in New York, Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN said frequent cross-border flow of foreign terrorist fighters has caused ever greater harm to international security and stability, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.The report defined foreign terrorist fighters as individuals who travel to a state other than their states of residence or nationality for the purpose of participating in terrorist acts.”The UN and the relevant international agencies should set up counter-terrorism data bases as soon as possible and share intelligence so as to create conditions for effectively curbing the cross-border movement of foreign terrorist fighters,” he said.Wu’s speech against the cross border movement for foreign fighters followed Beijing extending the “technical hold” on India’s pending petition to ban Azhar for his involvement in the Pathankot terrorist attack.Announcing the extension of the technical hold on October 1, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said, “China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council”.China, a veto-wielding member had put a technical hold on the move to impose a ban on Azhar six months ago in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council (UNSC) comprising of 15 members of the council including the five permanent members.China was the lone country which put the technical hold at the last minute which drew strong criticism from India.However China’s stand against movement for foreign terrorists could raise eyebrows in Pakistan as both Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed are Pakistanis.India has been highlighting the cross-border terror threat emanating from Pakistan and tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad are on the rise since last month’s Uri attack in Jammu and Kashmir which killed 19 Indian soldiers. Last month, India and China held their first counter- terrorism dialogue.

China continues veto on India’s move to designate Masood Azhar as terrorist by UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Saturday said its technical hold on India’s move to get Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations has “been extended”, days before the expiry of the hold.The Chinese technical hold was set to lapse on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist could stand passed automatically. The hold has been extended for another six months. “The technical hold on India’s listing application submitted to the 1267 committee in March, 2016 has already been extended,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI here.”There are still different views on India’s listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” Geng said.On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader and Pathankot attack mastermind under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.China was the only member in the 15-nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Geng said the 1267 Committee of the UNSC “organises its work as mandated by relevant resolutions of the Security Council.””China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council,” he said in a written reply to a question. Following the decision, the hold now has been extended in the midst of India-Pakistan tension over the Uri terrorist attack, which was blamed on the JeM group.China’s technical hold coupled with its move to block India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cast a shadow on the Sino-India ties. Both the countries have held several rounds of talks on the issues in recent months. China’s move to extend the technical hold comes ahead of the expected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Goa during the BRICS Summit on October 15-16.In June last year, China had blocked India’s demand for taking action under the Council’s anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for releasing Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Lakhvi – the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Sources have previously said India is not alone in its bid to get Azhar listed as terrorist as the US, the UK and France had “co-sponsored” the resolution seeking Azhar’s listing.India has repeatedly slammed the UN Sanctions Committee for its failure to designate terrorists, saying that the terror groups are proscribed entities under the Sanctions regime but individuals heading them are not listed. India has slammed the UN sanctions committee for taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism when the technical hold was put on its application to include Azhar’s name on the committee’s list of designated terrorists.In April, India had said it finds it “incomprehensible” that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in the UNSC Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the al-Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.India had submitted a detailed dossier on Azhar and moved the UNSC 1267 Committee following the January 2 attack on an Indian airforce station in Pathankot. In March, India’s submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, the UK and France had sent it to all the members.All were told that if there were no objections, the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline. However, hours before the deadline, China requested the committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief.India had said the sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism. India had made a strong call for reform of the “subterranean universe” of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regimes, as it criticised the lack of transparency in their functioning and said that the principles of “anonymity and unanimity” adopted by Council members absolve individual members of accountability.

At UN, Pakistan flags rising tension with India, to discuss matter with Ban Ki-moon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s UN envoy asked the president of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to informally brief the body on the country’s escalating tension with neighbouring India and said she will discuss it with UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday.Indian officials said elite troops crossed into Pakistan-ruled Kashmir on Thursday and killed suspected militants preparing to infiltrate India and carry out attacks on major cities, in a raid that raised tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.Pakistani UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told Reuters she met with New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, who is president of the 15-member Security Council for September.”I brought to his attention the dangerous situation that is building up in our region as a result of Indian provocation,” she said. “Our call to the international community is avert a crisis before there is one.”India’s UN mission was not immediately available to comment.Van Bohemen said he told the council on Thursday that Lodhi had visited him to raise concerns about the situation with India. “I briefed the council on her approach,” he said.Pakistan said two of its soldiers had been killed in exchanges of fire on Thursday, but denied India had made any targeted strikes across the de facto frontier that runs through the disputed Himalayan territory.The raid raised the possibility of military escalation between the neighbours that could wreck a 2003 Kashmir ceasefire. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but govern separate parts, and have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.”Pakistan is showing maximum restraint but there are limits to our restraint if India continues with provocations,” Lodhi said. “Right now our effort is just to tell everyone ‘this is what’s happened so far, watch this space because it’s a very dangerous space’.”She said there had already been “ominous signs of unusual movement” along the border with movements of troops and tanks and credible reports of Indian evacuations of some areas.

Pakistan court quashes 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s plea to raise Kashmir at UNSC

Lahore: The Lahore High Court has dismissed a writ petition by JuD chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed seeking to direct the Pakistan government to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council and other international fora.

LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali dismissed the petition, observing “the matter raised by the petitioner is not justifiable before the court and falls within the domain of politics”.

The court announced the verdict on Friday which it had reserved last month after hearing arguments from Saeed’s counsel AK Dogar.

JuD Hafiz Saeed. Reuters

JuD Hafiz Saeed. Reuters

Dogar said Saeed will challenge the verdict in the intra-court.

In the petition, Saeed said India had been “committing atrocities on Kashmiris and violating the UN resolutions”.

He alleged that Indian forces were killing innocent Kashmiris and had ruined their daily life.

Saeed, who carries a USD 10 million bounty on his head, further said India also did not give Kashmiris their right to self-determination.

Dogar in his arguments said “(former Prime Minister) Jawaharlal Nehru had taken the Kashmir dispute to the UN Security Council and announced that if Kashmiris wanted to go with Pakistan then India would not send its army to Kashmir, however, the Indian government later betrayed its undertaking”.

Citing different judgements, Dogar said if an issue involves public interest the court can interfere in political and foreign issues.

“Indian army is killing innocent Kashmiris but Pakistan government is doing nothing practically except issuing statements,” Dogar said.

Criticising the LHC verdict, Dogar said the single bench in its dismissal order did not notice that the appellant was seeking enforcement of the fundamental right to live with peace and security and without fear of another war with India.

“It is the duty of superior courts to practically enforce the provisions of a fundamental right and issue directions to this effect,” he said.

Diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan have been rising since the September 18 attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers.

Pakistan has rejected allegations of its involvement in the assault with both countries hitting out at each other including at the UN General Assembly.

Lahore High Court quashes plea by Hafiz Saeed to raise Kashmir issue at UNSC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lahore High Court has dismissed a writ petition by JuD chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed seeking to direct the Pakistan government to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council and other international fora.LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali dismissed the petition, observing “the matter raised by the petitioner is not justifiable before the court and falls within the domain of politics”. The court announced the verdict on Friday which it had reserved last month after hearing arguments from Saeed’s counsel A K Dogar. Dogar said Saeed will challenge the verdict in the intra-court. In the petition Saeed said India had been “committing atrocities on Kashmiris and violating the UN resolutions”.He alleged that Indian forces were killing innocent Kashmiris and had ruined their daily life. Saeed, who carries a USD 10 million bounty on his head, further said India also did not give Kashmiris their right to self-determination. Dogar in his arguments said “(former Prime Minister) Jawaharlal Nehru had taken the Kashmir dispute to the UN Security Council and announced that if Kashmiris wanted to go with Pakistan then India would not send its army to Kashmir, however, the Indian government later betrayed its undertaking”.Citing different judgements, Dogar said if an issue involves public interest the court can interfere in political and foreign issues. “Indian army is killing innocent Kashmiris but Pakistan government is doing nothing practically except issuing statements,” Dogar said. Criticising the LHC verdict, Dogar said the single bench in its dismissal order did not notice that the appellant was seeking enforcement of fundamental right to live with peace and security and without fear of another war with India.”It is the duty of superior courts to practically enforce the provisions of a fundamental right and issue directions to this effect,” he said. Diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan have been rising since the September 18 attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Pakistan has rejected allegations of its involvement in the assault with both countries hitting out at each other including at the UN General Assembly.

Sharif at UNGA: Pak PM asks India to discuss Kashmir, says Pakistan will submit dossier to UN documenting ‘brutalities’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raking up Kashmir at the UN, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday glorified slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a “young leader” even as he expressed readiness for a “serious and sustained dialogue” with India for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir.Sharif devoted much of his 20-minute speech at the UN General Assembly session to Kashmir and the current situation in the valley and said Pakistan “fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination”. He demanded an “independent inquiry into the extra- judicial killings” and a UN fact-finding mission to Kashmir “so that those guilty of these atrocities are punished.”Insisting that peace and normalisation between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Sharif made a number of allegations with regard to the current unrest in the valley. India has blamed Pakistan for engineering and fuelling the unrest.While talking about the situation in Kashmir, the Pakistan Prime Minister referred to Wani, who was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, as a “young leader” and said he has “emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada, a popular and peaceful freedom movement…”Pak to share dossier containing evidence of human rights violation: SharifSharif said the “Indian brutalities are well documented” and that “Pakistan will share with the Secretary General a dossier containing detailed information and evidence of the gross and systematic violations of human rights committed” in Jammu and Kashmir.”The Security Council has called for the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through a free and fair plebiscite held under UN auspices. The people of Kashmir have waited 70 years for implementation of this promise,” he said, adding the Security Council must honour its commitments by implementing its own decisions.Sharif, who spoke amid heightening tensions between India and Pakistan, insisted that his country wants peace with the neighbour as “confrontation should not be our destiny in South Asia.”Pakistan is “ready for talks to agree on a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty”: SharifThe Pakistan Prime Minister claimed that he had “gone the extra mile to achieve this, repeatedly offering a dialogue to address all outstanding issues but India has posed unacceptable preconditions to engage in a dialogue.””Let us be clear: talks are no favor to Pakistan. Talks are in the interest of both countries. They are essential to resolve our differences, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and to avert the danger of any escalation.” While insisting that peace and normalisation between Pakistan and India cannot be achieved without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute, he said, “This is an objective evaluation, not a partisan position.””Today, from this rostrum, I would also like to reiterate our offer to India to enter into a serious and sustained dialogue for the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir,” Sharif said. He also said that Pakistan was “open to discussing all measures of restraint and responsibility with India, in any forum or format and without any conditions.” Pakistan is “ready for talks to agree on a bilateral nuclear test ban treaty,” he added.International community ignores danger of rising tensions in South Asia: SharifClaiming that Pakistan “neither wants, nor is engaged in an arms race with India”, Sharif said, “We have consistently urged the conclusion of bilateral arms control and disarmament measures between Pakistan and India to prevent conflict and avoid wasteful military expenditures.””The international community ignores the danger of rising tensions in South Asia, at its own peril,” the Pakistan Prime Minister said. He said Pakistan is “committed to the establishment of strategic stability in the region” but “we cannot ignore our neighbour’s unprecedented arms build up and will take whatever measures are necessary to maintain credible deterrence.”Demand abrogation of India’s draconian laws: SharifSharif, while speaking about the unrest in Kashmir, said, “We demand the immediate release of all Kashmiri political prisoners; an end to the curfew; freedom for the Kashmiris to demonstrate peacefully; urgent medical help for the injured; abrogation of India’s draconian laws; and removal of the foreign travel ban on Kashmiri leaders.”To this end, he said, “steps should be taken by the United Nations to de-militarize Jammu and Kashmir and undertake consultations with India, Pakistan and the true representatives of the Kashmiri people to implement the resolutions of the Security Council.”In this context, Sharif said he welcomes “the offer of good offices by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.”India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and not third party, including the UN, has any role. “We will also open consultations with members of the Security Council to explore the modalities for implementation of the Security Council resolutions on Kashmir,” Sharif said. He claimed that Pakistan is the “principal victim of terrorism including that supported, sponsored and financed from abroad” and has the resolve of eliminating the scourge.”Our comprehensive strategy of law enforcement and targeted military operations has produced remarkable results and enabled Pakistan to turn the tide against terrorism,” he said.Sharif’s pitch for Pak’s NSG membershipSharif also made a pitch for Pakistan’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group, claiming that it is a “responsible” nuclear weapon state. “As a responsible nuclear weapon state, Pakistan will continue to cooperate with all international efforts that seek to promote fair and equitable solutions to disarmament and non-proliferation challenges,” he said.”We have introduced state of the art measures to strengthen the safety and security of our nuclear materials and facilities. We have adopted a comprehensive export control regime that is fully consistent with international standards,” the Pakistan Prime Minister said.”Judged on the basis of objective criteria, and without discrimination, Pakistan is fully eligible for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group,” he said.Sharif also talked about Afghanistan, which earlier alleged that “merciless” terror attacks against its civilians are being planned and organised in Pakistan which trains, equips and finances terror groups like Taliban and Haqqani network. He said Pakistan has been “facilitating the process of reconciliation in Afghanistan” but “progress will be assured only when the Afghan parties themselves conclude that there is no military solution to the Afghan war.”

No surprises: Pakistan’s Chief Justice just confirmed Pak political parties support terrorists!

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Pakistan is trying to deny its hand in the recent Uri attack, it seems like their role in supporting terrorists is an open secret back home. Pakistan’s Chief Justice recently revealed that political parties in the country are endorsing terrorism. Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali slammed political parties for endorsing terrorism, confirming what India and a major part of the international committee has been saying for a while. Justice Jamali was quoted saying by Geo News: “It is disappointing to see some political parties supporting terrorists for their own interest.” He also added that courts were being attacked by terrorists to ‘instil fear among lawyers and judges’. He also added that Jinnah didn’t want to make Pakistan secular: “The constitution allows all faiths to practice their religion without fear of being persecuted.”India plans multi layered response to Uri attackDetermined to use a calibrated, multi-layered and strategic response to Uri attack, India is likely to expose Pakistan before the world community by furnishing it with actionable evidence regarding its sponsoring of terrorism and press for isolating the nation.India is also planning to hand over to Pakistan evidence of the four terrorists using Pakistani-marked weapons, food, energy drinks and GPS trackers which they carried to enter Jammu and Kashmir from across the Line of Control.Indications in this regard came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a nearly two-hour meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NSA Ajit Doval, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other top officials to discuss India’s response.Top brass of the government is convinced that India has to launch a calibrated, multi-layered and strategic response and expose Pakistan in international forums like the UN, whose General Assembly is in session, official sources said.As part of the plans, the Director General of Military Operations will hand over all the evidence linking Pakistan’s involvement in Uri attack to his Pakistani counterpart shortly.At the meeting where External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was conspicuously absent, the top security brass briefed the Prime Minister on the prevailing ground situation in Kashmir Valley in the wake of the terror attack at a Brigade Headquarters in Uri, the sources said.The Defence Minister and the Army Chief, who visited Kashmir after the terror attack yesterday, also apprised the Prime Minister about their observations, they said.Heavily-armed terrorists, believed to be from Pakistan-based JeM, had yesterday stormed an army base in Uri in Kashmir, killing 18 jawans.India has reacted strongly to the deadliest attack on the Army in Jammu and Kashmir in a quarter-century-old insurgency that sparked an outrage with the Prime Minister strongly condemning it. Gen Sharif meets top commanders after India’s ‘hostile narrative’Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif met his top commanders and said the military was “watchful” towards the security imperatives of the country in the wake of “hostile narrative” by India after terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers in Kashmir.The Corps Commanders’ Conference – held in Rawalpindi and chaired by Gen Sharif – reviewed external and internal security situation and operational preparedness of the army, the army said in a statement.”Taking note of a hostile narrative being propagated by India, COAS (Gen Sharif) said that we are fully cognizant and closely watching the latest happenings in the region and their impact on the security of Pakistan,” the statement said.”Armed forces of Pakistan are fully prepared to respond to entire spectrum of direct and indirect threat,” he said, expressing his satisfaction over operational preparedness of the army.”Pakistan’s armed forces together with our resilient nation have surmounted every challenge and will thwart any sinister design against integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan in future as well,” Gen Sharif said during the meeting.Heavily-armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Indian Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours yesterday, killing 18 jawans and injuring 19 others in the attack in which all four terrorists were neutralised.It was the worst attack on the Indian Army in many years.India’s DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh has said all the four killed militants were foreign terrorists and had carried with them items which had Pakistani markings and that initial reports indicated that they belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-E-Mohammed terrorist group.Pak writes to heads of China, France, Russia, UK and US over KashmirAhead of his address to the UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has written to the permanent members of the Security Council over the Kashmir issue saying it is a “constant source of tension and instability” posing a threat to world peace and security. Sharif has written to the Heads of Government/State of China, France, Russia, the UK and the US regarding “grave human rights violations” in Kashmir, Foreign Office (FO) said today. “The letters emphasise the extremely negative implications of the dire situation in Kashmir, on regional, as well as international peace and security,” it said in a statement.Sharif wrote the “non-resolution of the Kashmir issue is a constant source of tension and instability in the region and a threat to international peace and security”. Last week, Sharif met Hurriyat leaders from Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK) and had assured them that he would “emphatically highlight” the Kashmir issue at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. Highlighting the ‘violations’ of international human rights and humanitarian laws in Kashmir, Sharif in his letters asked the permanent members of the Security Council to fulfill their responsibility with regard to the Kashmir issue, which he said is one of the oldest internationally recognised unresolved disputes on the agenda of the UNSC.Despite the passage of more than 68 years since the adoption of multiple resolutions, the people of Jammu and Kashmir still await the implementation of these resolutions which promised them the right to self-determination to be exercised through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices, he wrote. Sharif urged the permanent members of the Security Council to call upon the Indian government to immediately stop the bloodshed in Jammu and Kashmir and honour its human rights obligations as well as its commitments to the Kashmiri people. With inputs from agencies

After Uri terror attack, Pakistan raises Kashmir issue at NAM summit

Margarita Island: Continuing with its efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Pakistan on Sunday raised the matter in Margarita Island at the NAM summit, saying the 120-nation group should be “outraged” by the situation there.

File image of Sartaj Aziz. AFP

File image of Sartaj Aziz. AFP

Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, in his address as the Pakistan delegation head, said peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kahmir in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

“It is tragic that 60 years after being promised, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting to exercise their inalienable right to self determination and Kashmir along with Palestine has become one of the longstanding items on the UN agenda,” Aziz said.

“We should also be outraged by the horrific images of innocent Kashmiris being killed, maimed and blinded by the use of boot force in Kashmir in the last two months,” he said.

Aziz also stated that Pakistan strongly endorses the agreement of heads of state and government in Venezuela to undertake measures to oppose “attempts to equate legitimate struggle for self-determination and national liberation with terrorism”.

Aziz asserted that Pakistan fully endorses the NAM position on terrorism and violent extremism.

“We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. ..Pakistan has lost tens of thousands of lives in this fight yet are resolve is firm, our commitment unflinching and our actions tougher and more wide-ranging than ever,” Aziz said.

Pakistan has acquired valuable experience in successfully tackling the menace of terrorism in the past three years and therefore is ready to share this experience with other members of NAM, he said.

“My government’s focus has been on building a peaceful neighbourhood and regional connectivity and ensuring an environment that fosters cooperation and development. However, in our view peace in South Asia cannot be achieved without the settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kahmir in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” he said.

His comments came on a day when 17 Indian soldiers where killed in a terror attack on an army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by suspected Pakistan-based militants.

India demands sanctions against new Taliban leader

India has demanded the UN to slap sanctions against the new Taliban leader in Afghanistan, saying it is “sheer folly” that the leader of a proscribed entity is not yet designated as a terrorist individual. “It is sheer folly that the leader of a proscribed entity is not yet designated as a terrorist individual,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said at a Security Council debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here yesterday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Supporting New Zealand’s position that the anomaly should be corrected, Akbaruddin said the new Taliban leader should be sanctioned. The Taliban had named Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a conservative cleric in his 50s, as its new leader after Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in an American drone strike last month.US State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner had said in a press briefing then that Akhundzada was not on any kind of a terrorist designated list. Akbaruddin further emphasised that groups and individuals perpetrating violence against the people and government of Afghanistan cannot have safe havens and should not be allowed to exercise control and wield influence over any part of Afghanistan’s territory. “This, in our view, is critical for lasting peace in the country,” he said adding that effective implementation of the Security Council sanctions regime including the 1267 ISIL/Al-Qaeda Sanctions and 1988 Taliban’s regime should also be carried out “consistently and with perseverance” for it to serve as a strong deterrent to the listed entities and individuals.Previously, India has slammed the UN sanctions committee for taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism when a technical hold was put on its application to include the name of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar on the committee’s list of designated terrorists.India had said in April that it finds it “incomprehensible” that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in the UN Security Council Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to Al Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold. Akbaruddin stressed that the Security Council needs to look into the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the means to contain it as it could pose serious threats to the gains made by the people of Afghanistan in the last 15 years. While there has been no dearth of efforts by the Afghan government and its citizens as well as by the international community, Akbaruddin voiced concern over the deteriorating security situation in the war-torn country. “The Taliban are continuing attacks at an unprecedented rate since the beginning of the year and there is continued violence by other armed groups,” he said as he cited the UN Secretary General’s report that armed clashes have increased this year compared to the same period in 2015. “This situation has put renewed focus on the need for enhanced engagement and action by the international community,” he added.Akbaruddin reiterated India s believe that the path to reconciliation in Afghanistan should be through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process respecting the red lines drawn by the country s people and the international community, especially the ones regarding giving up of violence and abiding by the constitution of Afghanistan.He voiced India’s commitment to help Afghanistan strengthen its defence capabilities to preserve its unity and territorial integrity, saying it is the “most important antidote” to the worsening security situation in the country.The Indian envoy also condoled the loss of lives and property in the bomb attack in Kabul on June 20 in which around 20 people including from Nepal and India lost their lives.Referring to the inauguration of the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam, Akbaruddin quoted Prime Minister Modi s remarks that while India s capacity may be limited but its commitment to Afghanistan is without limits.”We are strongly committed to supporting Afghanistan in various plurilateral and multilateral fora,” he said adding that India looks forward to hosting the ‘Heart of Asia’ Ministerial Conference in December 2016.

India to examine Ghana’s civil nuclear cooperation request

India has, in principle, agreed to look into Ghana’s request for cooperation in civil nuclear energy field, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday as he wrapped up his six-day visit to three African countries which he said will “reinvigorate” the already “strong and time-tested” bonds with them. “Although the details are yet to be worked out, in principle, we have agreed that we will examine civil nuclear cooperation,” he said on the question of proposal from Ghana seeking cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The President said, “There are questions of cooperation in technology, cooperation in the supply of raw material, availability of uranium and also in sharing the experiences because we are also new in the area of the nuclear technology.”India has got strong support from the countries he visited — Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Namibia– on the urgent need for reforms in the United Nations Security Council. “There was agreement that the present structure does not reflect current realities and that reforms have been delayed for too long. The leaders of all three countries expressed the view that there is a need for urgent reforms of the UN. India, with one-sixth of the world’s population, as well as the African continent must be represented in the UN Security Council,” Mukherjee said.The President also underlined the issue of international terrorism and dangers posed by it to the civilised world. “I conveyed that the scourge of terrorism must be fought jointly, without any distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorism. “I called for an early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” he said.India has also got assurance from Namibia that it will work towards ironing out issues which are hindering the implementation of an agreement with it for supply of uranium for peaceful nuclear energy use, he said. “We have already entered into an agreement with Namibia on supply of uranium. Up to now that has not been done so I requested the President to take special care to meet the commitment of the past President and he agreed and also it was suggested that two technical teams will exchange details as there are various lack of understanding or misunderstanding about the supply of uranium,” he said.Mukherjee said some believe that one has to be member of NSG to supply uranium which is not correct and he pointed that out during bilateral talks with Namibia. “Therefore it is not a new agreement. Agreement has already been signed. Supply of uranium has not taken place that’s why I raised this issue and I requested the President to look into it and twice he assured,” he said.The President also emphasised on improving connectivity or opening new lines of connectivity with African countries as it is one of the most important aspects of improving relationship. “I believe my visit to these countries has helped reinvigorate our already strong and time-tested bilateral relations. They provide fresh momentum to our overall relations with Africa,” Mukherjee said. The President said India is committed to further consolidate its cooperation with all African countries.These visits conveyed the message that India takes its engagement with Africa seriously and intends to follow up with determination on the announcements made at the Third India Africa Forum Summit, he said. “Drawing lessons from our own colonial experience, we will continue to focus on capacity building, with a view to strengthening their self reliance. We will remain an active partner in Africa’s nation building efforts even as we strengthen our political, economic and trade relations with all 54 countries of the continent,” he said.Mukherjee said warmth with which he was received in all these three countries is testament to the unparalleled and historic bonds of friendship that exist between India and Africa. “We seek today to build on this strong foundation and forge new relations based on shared values of mutual benefit,” he said. The President said all three countries sought increased investments from India to tap the full potential of trade and economic relations.”I assured them that both public and private sector companies in India are enthusiastic about the opportunities in their countries. “I requested them to create a conducive environment for investment and initiate a dialogue with our industry,” he said.

Congressional resolution introduced backing India’s bid for permanent seat in UN Security Council

A resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representatives supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, with the lawmakers saying a permanent spot for the country on the Council would strengthen democracy around the world.The resolution was introduced yesterday in the House by Congressman Frank Pallone, the co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and Congressman Ami Bera, the only Indian-American in the Congress and current co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India is the only country which has been endorsed by the Obama administration for a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”At a time when international relations are being redefined, we should acknowledge and empower those nations that share our enduring core values,” Pallone said in a statement after he introduced the bill in the House.”It’s in the interests of the United States and the world to have a UN Security Council whose members combine military strength with respect for democracy and pluralism, and an appreciation of the dangers posed by rouge states and terrorist groups,” he said.Last week, Pallone and Bera applauded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to strengthen ties between the US and India during a speech before a joint session of Congress.”I was honoured to meet with Prime Minister Modi during his visit and I am more committed than ever to the bond between our two nations share and the positive impact that India would have on the UN Security Council,” said Pallone, who along with Bera served on the escort committee that led Modi into the House chamber for the speech.”As the world’s oldest democracy and the world s largest democracy, the United States and India share common values and a growing partnership on many fronts, especially on defence cooperation,” said Bera.”India plays a critical role as a strategic partner to the United States, and as a pillar of stability in South Asia.Securing a permanent spot for India on the UN Security Council would be beneficial for India and the United States, and would strengthen democracy around the world,” he said.In a statement Pallone and Bera said the UN Security Council still reflects the world as it was in 1945 when the United Nations was created. Despite the fact that the UN has grown from 51 member nations at its inception to nearly 200, the Security Council has not grown to reflect these dramatic changes, they said.There are currently five permanent members of the Council including the US, the UK, Russia, China, and France.The resolution reflects the sense of the US Congress and it does not has any legislative implications on the Obama administration.

Oil tanker returning to Libya after U.N. blacklisting – rival NOC | Reuters

LONDON An Indian-flagged oil tanker is returning to Libya, the North African country’s rival oil corporation said on Thursday, after its failed first attempt to export crude oil led to the ship being blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council.

The Distya Ameya tanker is heading to the western Libyan port of Zawiya, said Nagi al-Maghrabi, chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) set up by Libya’s rival eastern government in parallel to the Tripoli-based NOC. The Tripoli NOC is recognised internationally as the legitimate seller of Libyan oil.

Magrabi told Reuters he would continue to fight for the right of the eastern NOC to export crude, describing the situation as “a legal issue and we will work on it.”

The Tripoli NOC and its international backers say that if the eastern government succeeds in its long-held aim of selling oil independently, it would undermine a U.N.-backed unity government that arrived in Tripoli last month and put the political and economic future of Libya at risk.

The U.N. Security Council Libya sanctions committee blacklisted the Distya Ameya on Wednesday after receiving a request from the Libyan U.N. ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi. This requires states to ban it from entering any port.

The ship left Libya’s Marsa el-Hariga port late on Monday carrying 650,000 barrels of crude and was currently near Malta. A source close to the situation said the cargo was to be offloaded at Zawiya and processed for use within the country.

Deepak Shetty, director general of shipping with India’s Ministry of Shipping, said he had told the vessel’s operator and the charterer to instruct the captain not to discharge the cargo “at all, anywhere.”

“They will follow the U.N. guidance which will come to them through us,” Shetty said. “They are now staying put … no oil will be discharged even if the charterer wants them to. They will wait for the U.N. to tell us where the vessel will have to go.”

However, the U.N. spokesman’s office in New York said the U.N. Libya mission was not involved in the issue at all.

Under U.N. Security Council resolutions adopted since 2014 on the illicit export of Libyan oil, it is up to states – not the United Nations – to direct designated vessels “to take appropriate actions to return the crude oil, with the consent of and in coordination with the Government of Libya, to Libya.”

(Additional reporting by Nidhi Verma in NEW DELHI, Libby George in London, Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau at the UNITED NATIONS and Aidan Lewis, writing by Jonathan Saul and Michelle Nichols, editing by Dale Hudson and Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

After vetoing India’s bid in UN, China says India should talk with Pakistan over Masood Azhar

Beijing: India and Pakistan should resolve the issue over Masood Azhar through “direct” and “serious consultations”, China said on Tuesday, weeks after blocking India’s bid in the UN to ban the JeM chief that generated negativity in bilateral ties.

“We encourage all parties related to the listing matter of Masood Azhar to have direct communication and work out a solution through serious consultations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a written communication to PTI here on the issue which drew serious protests from New Delhi over Beijing’s last minute move to block its bid to slap a UN ban on Azhar.

File image of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. AFP

File image of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar. AFP

Replying to a question about whether there is any change in China’s stand on the issue after a number of top Indian officials conveyed India’s strong concerns over the move, Hua said as per the rules of the UN Committee on counterterrorism, the relevant countries should have direct talks.

In addition to Hua’s comments, Chinese officials expressed confidence that the issue will be resolved as Beijing is also in touch with Islamabad on the issue.

Her comments came as Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan held talks in New Delhi on Tuesday, in which India raised the Azhar issue.

While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took up the issue with her counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of Russia, India, China (RIC) Ministers meet in Moscow on 18 April, it was raised by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with his Chinese counterpart the same day in Beijing.

The issue was subsequently raised by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi during the just-concluded 19th round of India-China border talks.

China – one of the five veto-wielding members of the 15-member UN Security Council, which plays a leading role in banning terrorist outfits through the 1267 committee on counterterrorism issues – was the only country that put a technical hold on India’s bid to ban Pakistan-based Azhar in March.

The move was criticised by India’s Permanent Representatives to UN Syed Akbaruddin as “hidden veto”.

Hua, however, once again defended China’s move to put technical hold, saying that Beijing’s move is in line with the UNSC rules and procedures.

“On the listing matter of the (UN) Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1267, I want to point out that China has been fairly dealing with the matter in accordance with the Security Council resolutions and relevant rules of procedures on the basis of facts,” she said.

“It is in line with the Security Council resolutions and 1267 committee’s rules of procedure for China to place a technical hold on the listing of Masood Azhar,” she said.

Stating that the relevant rules are in the public domain of the UN for all to verify, she said “in accordance with the rules of procedures of the 1267 Committee, the Committee encourages communications between countries that ask for the listing and countries where individuals and entities in the listing come from and live in.”

Stating that China and India are victims of terrorism and have similar stances on the issues of counterterrorism, she said “the Chinese side supports the central coordination role of the UN in the international cooperation against terrorism and takes active part in this regard”.

India questions Secretary General candidates on terrorism

India has questioned prospective UN Secretary General candidates on how they intend to strengthen the counter-terrorism architecture of the world body and plan to achieve long-pending reforms of the Security Council.For the first time in the 70-year-old history of the UN, candidates for the post of the UN Secretary General were questioned by member states on their vision and plan of action, “a game changing process” aimed at increasing transparency on how the world’s top diplomat is elected.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s Permanent Representative to UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, speaking on behalf of the G-4 nations of Brazil, Japan, Germany and India, questioned former prime minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres and former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim last week during the open briefings about how they intend to speed up the Security Council reform process. Speaking in his personal capacity, he questioned them on terrorism saying the UN’s “counter-terrorism” architecture is “dispersed” and member states “don’t have even one contact point to turn to if we have to address issues of counter terrorism”.India has been pressing for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), a long-pending legal framework which would make it binding for all countries to deny space to terror groups. Akbaruddin asked the candidates how they will ensure CCIT will be made the “rule-making” exercise to counter the global scourge. Guterres, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said that the General Assembly had in 2005 supported the early reform of the Council but added that the member states will have to work together to ensure reforms are achieved without further delay. On terrorism, he said the UN was able to approve a strategy on terrorism but has so far not been able to approve an “international convention on terrorism. That is why we lack some key instruments” in tackling terrorism.He said he will work closely with the General Assembly and Security Council to see “how we can find mechanisms to be more effective in addressing not only the needs to fight terrorism but the ways to avoid some of the mechanisms terrorists utilises in today’s global society”. Kerim said that it must be ensured that the more than one billion people who follow the Islamic faith are not offended by insisting that there is Islamic terrorism.He said progress on UNSC reforms can be made only if there is “readiness” for change among the members states to implement the reforms. He stressed that there has to be “consensus” on amending the charter for the UNSC reforms. “We should be determined in promoting the process of the reform of the Security Council. It must reflect the situations of the 21st century,” Kerim said, adding that the demand for reform by the G4 as well as the African states is “very legitimate and over-due.”Nine candidates for the position of the next United Nations Secretary-General answered a total of some 800 questions from the UN membership and the public on how, if selected, they would lead the world body. “We have established a new standard of transparency and inclusivity for the appointment process, but it has the potential also to influence the final outcome of the selection of the Secretary-General,” UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft told reporters at the conclusion of the unprecedented public dialogues.Starting on Tuesday, each candidate was given a two-hour televised and webcast timeslot.Prior to opening up the floor for questions from UN delegates and civil society representatives as well as from the public through social media, candidates gave short oral presentations their “vision statements” addressing challenges and opportunities facing the UN and the next Secretary-General.According to Lykketoft, almost every country was represented in the audience to ask questions during the dialogue.”My impression is of course my experience is short but during the months I’ve been here, we never had that frank and substantial discussion about the future of the United Nations as the one we got during these informal dialogues,” he said at the media stakeout.”We’ve talked about the virtues, we’ve talked about the flaws of the UN, and the candidates have presented a lot of interesting views on how to do things ever better,” he added.Lykketoft said that these past three days are just a part of the “process of transparency” and that he hopes they will help generate wider discussions about the selection of the UN chief.With more candidates possibly joining the current nine, more informal briefing could be held in the coming week and months.Lykketoft said that he was inspired by the interest the public has shown in this selection process, with more than 227,000 people from 209 different countries and territories having visited his website.

Masood Azhar doesn’t meet UN criteria to be banned as terrorist, says China

Clinging to its pro-Pakistan stance, China has asserted that JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar does not qualify to be nailed as a “terrorist” to face UN sanctions as his case “did not meet” the Security Council’s requirements.”Any listing would have to meet the requirements” for blacklisting, Chinese Permanent Representative to the UN Liu Jieyi told reporters yesterday in response to questions over China’s decision to place a ‘technical hold’ on designating Azhar in the UN Sanctions Committee.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He, however, gave no further details. Liu’s comments came on a day when China, one of the five permanent members of the 15-nation Council, assumed the rotating presidency of the UNSC for April. India has reacted strongly to China’s blocking of its bid at the UN to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief, saying that the sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism.In Beijing, also yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei defended China’s decision, saying that it acts on such issues based on facts and rules in an “objective and just manner”. “We always deal with the listing issue (banning militant groups and their leaders) under the UN Security Council committee established under resolution 1267 based on facts and relevant rules of procedures in an objective and just manner. “The Chinese side has always been in communication with relevant parties on the listing issue,” he said, hinting that China is also in touch with India on the issue.India yesterday said it is disappointed that a “technical hold” has been put on its application to include Azhar in the UN sanctions list, terming the move “incomprehensible” that this is despite the JeM being listed in the UN Security Council Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the Al Qaeda.This is not the first time China has blocked India’s bid to get Pakistan-based militant groups and leaders proscribed by the UN. The UN had banned the JeM in 2001 but India’s efforts for a ban on Azhar after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack also did not fructify as China, that has veto powers, did not allow the ban apparently at the behest of Pakistan again.Last July, China had similarly halted India’s move in the UN to take action against Pakistan for its release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, saying that its stand was “based on facts and in the spirit of objectiveness and fairness” with Beijing again claiming at the time that it was in touch with New Delhi.

India furious as China blocks U.N. blacklisting of militant chief | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS China has put a hold on India’s request to add the head of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to the United Nations’ al Qaeda-Islamic State blacklist, U.N. diplomats said on Friday, eliciting an angry reaction from the Indian government.

India accused Jaish-e-Mohammad of masterminding a fatal attack on the Pathankot air base in India in January. India had requested that its leader be added to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, the diplomats said, but China objected.

The Kashmir-based group Jaish-e-Mohammad has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, an Islamist hardliner and long-time foe of India.

“We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad was listed … as far back as 2001 for its well-known terror activities and links to al Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator, has been put on a technical hold,” Indian government spokesman Vikas Swarup said in Washington.

“This does not reflect well on the determination that the international community needs to display to decisively defeat the menace of terrorism,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in the U.S. capital.

It was not immediately clear why China requested that a hold be placed on the Indian request to blacklist Masood Azhar. Technical holds can be lifted and often arise when a Security Council member wants more information. But sometimes they lead to a permanent blocking of a proposed blacklisting.

Asked about China’s decision to place a technical hold on the proposed blacklisting of Masood Azhar, Chinese U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi offered no details.

“Any listing would have to meet the requirements” for blacklisting, he said.

Pakistani security officials have said that a special investigation team set up in Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack found no evidence implicating Masood Azhar.

If Masood Azhar was blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze.

The Jan. 2 attack at Pathankot was followed by a raid on an Indian consulate in Afghanistan that has also been linked to Jaish-e-Mohammad, or the Army of Mohammad.

Jaish-e-Mohammad militants are blamed for a 2001 attack on India’s parliament that nearly led to a war between the nuclear-armed rivals.

(Additional reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown)

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