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Masood Azhar is 'proven threat', why would China give him 'terror pass'?: WSJ

NEW YORK: A number one US daily has wondered China's blocking off of any other move at the UN to designate Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist", declaring that Pakistan-based terror staff Jaish-e-Mohammed's leader is a "proven threat" and Beijing is "loath to upset" its "all-weather" friendship with Islamabad.

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal, in an article piece titled 'China Shields a Jihadist - Beijing blocks a UN attempt to sanction the Kashmir killer', said without significant international motion towards jihadist enclaves in Pakistan, India might "understandably conclude it has few options other than a military escalation".

The editorial comes after China for the fourth time blocked a bid in the United Nations (UN) Security Council to designate Azhar as a "global terrorist" via hanging a technical grasp at the proposal on Wednesday, a move India termed as disappointing.

The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was once moved via France, the UK and america on February 27, days after the Pulwama terror assault which killed 40 Indian infantrymen.

"...Azhar is a proven threat. Why would China give him a terror pass?," the Editorial Board asked.

"Beijing is loath to upset what it calls its 'all- weather' friendship with Pakistan, and one reason is strategic. The US cut military aid to Islamabad last year after President (Donald) Trump cited its support of terrorists in Afghanistan, and China wants to fill the gap," it said.

The editorial noted that tensions had de-escalated between India and Pakistan after the February 14 terror assault via Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Kashmir's Pulwama district which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

In the times since (Pulwama assault), "the global focus now shifts to rooting out terrorists in Pakistan, but China is already easing international pressure on Islamabad to do so," the editorial said.

It said the proposal moved in the UN Security Council's Sanctions Committee towards Azhar in the final 10 years would have subjected the JeM leader to a trip ban, an assets freeze and an hands embargo.

A UN blacklisting would pressure Pakistan to conform, the Editorial Board said, adding that america State Department concluded in 2017 that Islamabad failed to forestall the JeM from "openly raising money, recruiting and training" in the nation.

But Beijing put a grasp at the proposal pronouncing they "still need more time" to imagine the subject, in step with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

The editorial noted that the world group must not "expect a change" in this stance given that Beijing has blocked Security Council motion towards Azhar in 2016 and 2017.

Lu suggested that UN sanctions towards Azhar may endanger the region's steadiness, "but the opposite is true", the write-up noted.

"Without meaningful global action against jihadist enclaves in Pakistan, New Delhi may understandably conclude it has few options other than a military escalation," it added.

The editorial cited the American Enterprise Institute's China Global Investment Tracker, pronouncing China has poured nearly $32 billion into Pakistani infrastructure thru Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.

From 2008-2017, Pakistan imported $6 billion in weapons from China, in step with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, making it Beijing's largest hands customer in Asia.

The editorial additionally noted that China was once "shielding" Azhar even as it makes use of the threat of terror to sanction its own voters - the Chinese Uighur Muslims.

It said in its northwestern Xinjiang province, more than one million Chinese Uighur Muslims have been detained in "re-education" centers under the guise of forestalling extremism.

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