The Pakistan Government has reportedly ordered forces to freeze assets and belongings of dreaded terrorist Masood Azhar, who was recently branded as a “Global Terrorist” by the United Nations. As per a notification issued on Wednesday, the foreign ministry said, "the Federal Government is pleased to order that the Resolution 2368 (2017) be fully implemented", against Masood Azhar.
The Government has directed the concerned officials to initiate actions "as appropriate for the implementation of sanctions" against Masood Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief. This comes days after India’s long pending diplomatic victory over Pakistan at the United Nations. Azhar is also banned from selling and purchasing arms.
India was repeatedly requesting the United Nations to brand Azhar as a global terrorist but China, Pakistan’s closest ally, was blocking the request with its power of Veto at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Recently, UNSC member nations France, United States of America, United Kingdom and Russia moved a proposal at the UNSC, to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, but was blocked by China. This happened few days after the cowardly Pulwama attack in J&K, which was claimed by the JeM. China lifted its hold on the proposal on 1st May 2019, thereby branding Azhar as a Global Terrorist.
Following Masood Azhar’s branding as a global terrorist, a travel ban has been imposed. This is one of the most basic sanctions under the resolution of declaring someone a global terrorist. Masood Azhar’s assets and belongings would be investigated and locked as per the guidelines.
While Masood Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terror outfit, has already been declared by the United Nations as a global terror group way back in 2002, the fresh development enables concerned authorities to crack down heavily on Azhar’s personal assets, along with curbing some of his rights.
With the branding of a Global Terrorist, no entity or individual is allowed to transfer or sell arms or ammunition to Masood Azhar.
The evidence India presented, indicated that Masood Azhar is pro-actively linked to terror funding operations, raised through religious events under his terror group’s various wings, including the student division. These operations would be strictly forbidden under the new sanctions.
Pakistan effectively prevented a ban against Masood Azhar, and has been accused of shielding the JeM chief on various occasions. However, the fresh UN sanctions change the entire picture as Pakistan has been forced to immediately enforce sanctions on Azhar.
All members of the UN are bound to impose sanctions on Masood Azhar under all circumstances. Considering the fact that Masood Azhar is the mastermind of numerous terror attacks in India, including the latest cowardly attack at Kashmir’s Pulwama, it is certainly a massive diplomatic victory for India over Pakistan. The latest sanctions on Masood Azhar are expected to help curb terrorism in the Indian subcontinent.
Masood Azhar, the son of a retired school teacher, was arrested in South Kashmir way back in 1994, but had to be released with two other terrorists in 1999, in exchange for passengers of a hijacked IC 814 Indian Airlines plane.
Azhar then founded a terror outfit by the name of Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is responsible for numerous terror attacks on Indian soil. Jaish-e-Mohammed has so far carried out numerous deadly attacks against Indian targets, including the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 which almost brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a full-fledged war.
The 2016 Pathankot attack on the Indian air force base had been masterminded by Masood Azhar and his sibling. They were in direct contact with terrorists even after the attack had begun. India has furnished documents containing evidence of Azhar's involvement in the terror attack and also requested for a second ʽred corner noticeʼ from the Interpol.
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