China used its veto to save Jaish e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar from being declared an international terrorist by the United Nations.
Despite India calling for Masood Azhar’s ban, China protected the Pakistan-based terrorist to ensure its grand plan in Pakistan, the CPEC project, remains on track.
Not once, but three times – including the official blocking on December 30, 2016. But France – another permanent member – has now come out in India’s support on the Masood Azhar issue.
According to reports, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, “Jaish-e-Mohammad is already included in the (Sanctions) Committee’s list of terrorist organisations, therefore there are very strong arguments in favour of listing its chief, as India has requested”.
At the same time, Ayrault hit a barb at China by saying, “The international community’s determination to combat terrorism must be the same everywhere, regardless of the threat.”
China was the only country that did not approve of India’s call on Masood Azhar.
France is one of the co-sponsors of the Indian request and now says that they’ll discuss with India on the next step.
Why is France backing India’s request?
One reason is that France, too, has become one of the principal victims of terrorism with two prominent terror attacks happening between November 2015 and July 2016 alone, which left 216 dead. Though both attacks had Islamic State connections, the French government – unlike other European government – has been especially taking a very hard stand against terrorism across the world.
Another reason is France’s increased military cooperation with India. The Indian Air Force has said that the 36 Rafale fighters are not enough and they would be needing another 200-250 fighters of the same kind. France’s Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of Rafale, might be hopeful of a new deal.
Maulana Masood Azhar lives in Bahawalpur in Pakistan. He was one of the three terrorists freed in the Indian Airlines IC-814 hijack crisis in 1999.
He has since then strengthened his terrorist outfit which operates from Pakistani soil and under the protection of Pak ISI. In 2001, he masterminded the attack on Parliament.
He was also the mastermind behind the January 2016 attack on the Pathankot Air Force base.
Following that attack, in February 2016, India submitted a request to label him an international terrorist at the UN.