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France decides to freeze assets of Jaish chief Azhar Masood



France decides to freeze assets of Jaish chief Azhar Masood

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Although the move to get Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) founder and leader Azhar Masood designated as ‘global terrorist’ was blocked by China in UN Security Council, France – which had moved the proposal with UK and US – has decided to freeze his assets in its country.

France said it will also raise the issue with its European partners to include Masood on the European Union (EU) list of people suspected of being involved in terrorism. Masood’s JeM had claimed responsibility for the February 14 attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

Expressing its support for India, France said it has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism.

France had first moved the proposal in the UNSC to list Azhar as a designated global terrorist in the wake of the Pulwama attack. The move found as many as 13 co-sponsors: aside from the US and UK among the other permanent members of the Security Council, 10 non-permanent and non-member countries also joined the proposal as co-sponsors.

However, for the fourth time in 10 years, China stalled, at Pakistan’s behest, India’s bid to list  the Jaish chief as a global terrorist at the United Nations Security Council.

Barely an hour before the deadline was to expire at 3 pm New York time — 12.30 am IST — China placed a technical hold.

The proposal will now be in deep freeze for the next six months, and if there is a hold again, for three months. Thereafter, Beijing will have to either lift the hold or block the listing again. In the next nine months, member countries can provide information to the committee for lifting the hold, and Azhar can still be listed.

While the move by China thwarted India’s efforts to get Masood listed as a global terrorist at the UN, it made other diplomatic gains. In any case, few were expecting China to change its stand.

India was able to rally an unprecedented international consensus in favour of blacklisting Masood.

For the first time since 2009, when India first tried to list Masood Azhar as a global terrorist under the UNSC Resolution 1267 sanctions committee, India got 13 co-sponsors for the proposal.

These include seven members of the UN Security Council — the three permanent members US, UK and France; four non-permanent members Germany, Poland, Belgium and Equatorial Guinea and, among UN members who are not in Security Council but who co-sponsored the proposal, were six countries: Japan, Australia, Italy, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan.

What is significant is that the Quad members — US, Japan and Australia — co-sponsored the proposal in a sign of strategic alignment on the issue of terrorism.

This was incremental in nature since it was only in 2017 that India asked P-3 countries, US, UK and France to move the proposal. In 2016 and 2009, it was India which had moved the proposal.

India’s Permanent Representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: “Big, Small & Many…1 big state holds up, again …1 small signal @UN against terror. Grateful to the many states — big & small — who in unprecedented numbers, joined as co-sponsors of the effort.”

The MEA acknowledged this: “We are grateful for the efforts of the Member States who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors.”

That’s not all. Last month, a week after the February 14 Pulwama attack, China had signed off on a UNSC statement that “condemned in the strongest terms” the terror attack and, in fact, named Pak-based Jaish-e-Mohammad for the “heinous and cowardly suicide bombing”.

This was significant considering China blocked the listing of JeM chief Masood as a “global terrorist”.

India has also been able to mount pressure on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which has asked Pakistan to take concrete action against terrorist financing or face a “blacklist”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.



Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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India News

US reiterates its call for fair, transparent, legal process for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, speaks on Congress frozen accounts

The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections.



A day after India summoned an US diplomat over their remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, the US reiterated its call for fair, transparent, timely legal processes on Wednesday.

Responding to questions on India summoning Gloria Berbena, the US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they will continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Notably, the meeting at the foreign ministry’s South Block office lasted nearly 40 minutes yesterday with India objecting strongly to the US remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Matthew Miller also responded to a question on the Congress party’s frozen bank accounts. The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. He added that the US encourages fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of the issues.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the Delhi liquor policy scam. Earlier, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were arrested in the same case.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier stated that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others, and this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies, adding that it could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.

The Ministry further emphasized that India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. It mentioned that casting aspersions on India’s legal procedure is unwarranted.

The United State’s remarks followed days after Germany’s Foreign Office stressed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. The Indian government labelled their remark as blatant interference in internal matters.

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5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

This is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.



Nearly five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion during an attack on their convoy by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday. Reportedly, the suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers travelling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack. As yet, none has claimed responsibility for the attack. Bisham Station House Officer (SHO) Bakht Zahir asserted that the incident was a suicide blast and the authorities concerned were collecting the evidence.

The Station House Officer further added that security arrangements were tightened at the spot and the bodies were being shifted to a hospital. He added that they will investigate from where and how the vehicle of a suicide bomber came and how it happened. Notably, this is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

Previously, two attacks hit an airbase and a strategic port in the southwest province of Balochistan where China is investing billions in infrastructure projects. Several Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for multiple years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa.

Notably, Dasu is home to a significant dam project, has been a target of previous attacks. Earlier in 2021, the attack in Dasu resulted in the deaths of nine Chinese nationals, along with two Pakistani children. The incident occured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the Dasu Hydropower Project site was targeted.

There was confusion surrounding the nature of the attack initially, with some reports suggesting it was a bus accident. Nonetheless, subsequent investigations revealed that it was indeed a terrorist attack. The bus was hit by a blast, leading it to plunge into a ravine.

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