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New Delhi/ Beijing, Apr 30: Amid indications that it could soon lift its “technical hold” on listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the UNSC, China on Tuesday said that “relevant consultations” are underway in the world body’s Sanctions Committee on the issue and “some progress” has been achieved.

“I can only say that I believe that this will be properly resolved,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a media briefing in Beijing when asked whether the issue would be settled as early as Wednesday.

“Regarding the listing issue in the 1267 (Sanctions) Committee (of the UNSC), we have expressed our position many times and I just want to stress two points. First, we support the listing issue being settled within the 1267 Committee through dialogue and consultation and I believe this is the consensus of most members,” Geng said while answering questions over the issue.

“Second, the relevant consultations are going on within the Committee and have achieved some progress. Third, I believe, with the joint efforts of all parties, this issue can be properly resolved,” the spokesperson added.

His response came amidst indications that China could soon lift its “technical hold” on listing of Azhar, whose outfit has been responsible for a number of terror attacks in India, including the recent one in Pulwama in which 40 security personnel were killed by a suicide car bomber on February 14.

China has been blocking Azhar’s listing despite a strong push by other permanent members of the UNSC like the US, UK and France.

India, which has mooted the proposal at the UNSC, is hopeful that China will be sensitive to its concerns and give consent to proscribing of Azhar.

Asked whether he could confirm reports that China was likely to lift the technical hold on Azhar issue on Wednesday, Geng said: “We have fully expressed our position on this. China is in contact with all relevant parties on this issue and we will continue to engage in the discussion and review of this issue in a constructive manner.”

When asked whether any momentum on the issue could be expected since India has given technical evidence regarding JeM’s involvement in the Pulwama attack, Geng said: “On the listing issue, China is still working with the relevant parties and we are in contact with all relevant parties within the 1267 Committee and I believe with the joint efforts of all parties, this will be properly resolved.”

Azhar, a Pakistani national, founded the JeM with the help of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI in January 2000, soon after his release from an Indian jail in exchange for 166 hostages of an Indian Airlines plane which was hijacked to Kandahar in Afghanistan during a flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

IANS
Photo: Google

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