Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he discussed the issue of Masood Azhar with close ally China, which blocked for the fourth time a proposal at the UN to designate the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief as a ‘global terrorist’.
Qureshi who returned from Beijing on Thursday after attending the first strategic bilateral dialogue between the two all-weather allies, heaped praise on China.
“We take each other into confidence on all issues. Sometime they guide us and sometimes they change their policy after listening to us,” he said after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Qureshi said he discussed the issue of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Azhar with China, which used its right of technical hold to stop a proposal by France, the US and the UK against him at the UN Security Council.
China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, for the fourth time blocked a bid in the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council to designate Azhar as a “global terrorist”, saying it wanted “more time to examine” the proposal.
The technical hold is valid for up to six months and it can be again extended by up to three months.
India has described the outcome as “disappointing”.
The JeM claimed responsibility for the February 14 Pulwama suicide attack that left 40 CRPF personnel dead and raised tensions between India and Pakistan.
“As you know, China despite a lot of pressure used the right of technical hold in order to collect more information on the issue…. We talked what US, China and UK were thinking about it,” Qureshi said.
He said the two sides held a discussion on the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanction Committee but refused to share details. He said Pakistan was aware what the world wanted on the issue of Azhar.
“We are aware. We know what the world wants, what we should do, what are our interests, and what should be our policy. It (issue of Azhar) should be seen in larger context…It should be seen in the context of money laundering and what FATF is saying because it is all linked,? he said.
Qureshi further said that discussion with China on the issue of Azhar will continue.
He also said that Pakistan was analysing the contents of the dossier given by India on Pulwama. “We are serious about it and are analysing the dossier and (will) present our findings to you (media) and to the world,” the foreign minister said.
Amidst the Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terror attack by a JeM suicide bomber, Qureshi confirmed that Azhar was present in Pakistan but said he was “very ill.”
He said Pakistan was committed to address militancy and eliminate it completely from the country.